Magnifique! French architect transforms Parisian station restaurant.

Monday 01st June, 2015
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This bridge-like building, built over the tracks of the Parisian ‘petite ceinture’, welcomed the first travellers to the Auteuil line connecting the stations Saint Lazare and Auteuil Boulogne in May, 1854. On January 6th, 1985 the line was completely abandoned leaving it lifeless for 10 years until it was reborn in 1995 by welcoming a restaurant into its walls. The exceptional setting of the restaurant La Gare completely seduced restaurateur, Olivier Bertrand, five years ago.

With this restaurant-café project, he sought to give life back to this original space with its façade - classified as a Monument Historiques (the French equivalent to English Heritage) - adorned with its distinctive clock. At Passy, La Gare reveals an establishment with majestic volumes comprised of two levels offering a variety of ambiances. After five years of construction and renovation, the team decided to bring in a female touch to this impressive setting. Olivier Bertrand entrusted the decoration of this restaurant-café to the brilliant young architect Laura Gonzalez. The stakes were high: 1000m2 and only one month to complete it. A challenge that couldn’t be refused.

All the rooms were revisited, generously adding vegetation. Free from the contemporary codes of decor, Laura Gonzalez took inspiration for a more colonial style. Upstairs, in the Café de la Gare, several painters worked to create a tropical décor, mirroring a winter garden. This green atmosphere brings the feeling of being outside of Paris. The elegance of the navy blue velvet furnishings, geometric underpinnings and the Calacatta Oro marble bar gives a true sense of refinement and sophistication. Under the glass roof of the terrace are wrought iron banquettes with cream and black-clad cushions, crimped brass tables, and a white and grey awning leaving enough room for botanical plants, creating a truly enchanting ambiance. The walls in the staircase that lead to the restaurant are covered with a spectacular gradient of gold leaf.

The restaurant offers a stylish and modern décor with large brass mirrors, 18th century decorations from Maison de Zuber framed in black Marquinia marble panels and benches upholstered in pure velvet creating perspective. All the furniture was custom made inspired by vintage pieces and reinterpreted in a contemporary way using a harmonious blend of materials: black blue velvet, cream coloured straw, bronze, marble and brass. The light fixtures are reminiscent of antique cut glass globes covered in brass. On the ceiling, the skylight is made from steel and glass inviting natural light into the whole restaurant. The neon orange accents and walls in flannel grey marble bring a modern touch, while the tropical greenhouse on the terrace connects elements of nature with the interior décor of this restaurant.