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Opera Garnier


Client: Gilbert Costes

Competition entry for a landmark restaurant in the Opera Garnier. 

Located on the East façade of the Palais Garnier, the restaurant inhabits a covered external entrance space where horse-drawn carriages would arrive when the building first opened in 1875. All proposals were to ensure that they did not touch any of the existing stonework, and so our design was a series of components inserted into the space, which could be completely removed without damage to the existing structure.

The main feature of the project is a 12metre diameter, upside down polished green dome (to match/mirror the existing dome above) which creates a large circular mezzanine on its upper surface. The arches which surround the main rotunda are occupied by a tubular structure which provides linear mezzanines all the way around the dome. Freestanding semi-cylindrical glazing tubes stand in the Garnier arches facing the street, relying only on themselves for support, not touching any of the historic stonework.

The highly reflective, mirror polished stainless steel surfaces of the design act to multiply, fragment and thereby celebrate the details, materials and qualities of the existing building, allowing diners to experience the building’s layered history in a dynamic manner as they eat.