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Hotel Thoumieux, Paris, France

Issue 66 Apr / May 2012 : Retail : Hotel

Unique fixtures from Beirut-based .PSLAB and M/M (Paris) helped create a visual language for a hotel that reflects the French capital's 'interior landscape'.

When French chef Jean-François Piège teamed up with hotelier Thierry Costes to establish the new Hotel Thoumieux in Paris, their exacting attention to detail and flair for creating stylish, boutique experiences promised special things. Sure enough, the pair drew on a host of creative talents to help designing a unique, visually cohesive venue.

The first stop for the owners was with M/M (Paris), a consultancy headed by Michael Amzalag and Mathias Augustiniak, who were tasked with inventing a special typography with which to write the Thoumieux name.

Taking their inspiration not just from Paris’s cityscape of tree-lined boulevards, but also its ‘interior landscape’ of cafés and brasseries, M/M (Paris) produced a graphical style of linear and circular modules that went on to form the hotel’s signature style. This theme is echoed throughout the building: engraved in gold and silver around the mirrors, woven into the carpets and, escaping into three dimensions, as door handles, chair backs and light fixtures.

These fixtures, both smaller double headed wall lamps and the larger multiheaded chandeliers, are all handmade in brass and glass – their elaborate pipework giving the appearance of a fantastical brass instrument.

Working alongside M/M (Paris) were architects and interior designers India Madhavi (for the hotel and restaurant) and Gérard Cholot (for the brasserie). Manhavi brought a rich sophistication of patterns and textures to the project. Her choice of strongly hexagonal-embossed wallpaper, however, meant there was no possibility of recessing fixture into the walls as a way of hiding their technical elements. As on previous projects, she turned to Beirut-based .PSLAB to develop an appropriate solution. Their response was a custom-designed product comprising three concentric, curved ‘ribs’ around a central cavity, fashioned in brass. The lamp within the cavity is topped with a reflector to bounce light back into the fixture before it is thrown out as a soft glow.

The piece is placed at different heights throughout the hotel, alone or in rows of two and three. In the hotel rooms, the reflector is perforated to achieve the optimum light level, whilst in the public spaces, where the piece is scaled up to 80cm in diameter, solid reflectors are used. In both cases, the cavity within the body of the fixture allows all technical wiring to be concealed without than having to eat into the wall or ceiling itself - a perfect example of bespoke fixtures providing technical solutions as well as just good looks.


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