Design talks with Sophie Jacqmin

24 Jun 2016
2 min read
FOUR talks to French interior designer, Sophie Jacqmin, about her recent work on the new interiors of restaurant, Bistro de l’Arc in Paris’ chic 16th arrondissement…

How would you describeBistro de l’Arc’s new design to those who have never visited it?

Bistro de l’Arc is at the base of the Place de l’Etoile, between the Champs Elysées and Avenue Foch. The Arc de Triomphe is the symbol of France’s military power. With that in mind, I shifted the idea of triumph in war and its martial trumpets to work around the brass of jazz trumpeters. There is a resonance between order and disorder which I find fun and meaningful. I like to echo the reality of a place and the dream that surrounds it with my designs. I like to add humour to the classic codes in order give another look at this historical context.

What is your own personal experience ofBistro de l’Arcand what makes it so special? Can you tell me more about the project? Your inspirations?

I’m the designer and my journey is constantly enriched by my savoir-faire of stage design, therefore I mastered the creation, interior design and of course the mise-en-scene of the restaurant. I met Tony El Khoury, who used to be part of the Partouche group. He was in the process of opening a restaurant a stone’s throw away from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It’s rare to have to recreate a restaurant space in this neighborhood. You have to be creative in your approach but also you’re constrained with time due to short deadlines. I was immediately seduced by the challenge. It was an extremely interesting and stimulating exercise and we were able to finish itin 5 months. The style diverges from the classic Parisian brasserie off the Champs Elysées to a chic yet casual universe.

How closely did you work with the restaurant itself when you were designing? Did the concept for the food they are creating have any influence on the design of its interiors?

I worked with Tony El Khoury and his team with great freedom. Bistro de l’Arc is a place for collectors, connoisseurs and cigar smokers alike to come together, so I wanted to put in place a veritable gallery where delicatessen, cheese, regional products, wines and cigars are on display to delight its clientele.

Where and how did you source the products, materials and craftsmen for the project?

The materials I used are simple such as wood, marble and stone highlighted by some touches of copper.

How important is it to you that you support local craftsmen in your interior design projects?

I love to work with artisans from the country in which I’m designing a project, especially when finding the most artistic pieces – the masterpieces if you will. By doing so, I’m able to discover the interior, so to speak, of the country’s culture by not only spending time in their workshops but of course by highlighting their savoir-faire.

Do you have a favourite dish from the restaurant?

The cote de boeuf is sublime!

Favourite restaurant, bar or interior that you wish you had designed?

The chic and whimsical universe by designer Patricia Urquiola at the W Hotel on Vieques Island.

Find out more about Sophie and Bistro de l’Arc here…