Restaurant and Bar
In 1795, Napoleon offered a prize of 12,000 francs to whoever could invent a way to preserve food for his army, this provided the inspiration for this restaurant in Hong Kong. 12,000 Francs boasts an elegant exterior decorated with geometric tiles. As guests walk through the threshold, stylish interiors exude a seductive and evocative other world atmosphere distinctive from the chaotic and bustling neon lit streets steps away. Napoleonic inspiration weave their way through out the design.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The interior is a blend of Napoleonic period references and contemporary context. The space is woven with Napoleonic narrative including the iconic Napoleonic bee, which was synonymous with his reign. Elements such as the bee hive lighting and the hand pressed metal ceiling featuring bee wings feature this. They contrast effortlessly with sharp contemporary monotone ceramics to pull the space into the present.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
As guests leave the bustling streets and enter the typical small Hong Kong space, they are created by a communal sommeliers table. This table functions as fully supported bar (inclusive of concealed refrigeration and ice wells) , wine tasting, and dining for light bites. To create so much function on what looks like a decorative table was a significant challenge
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
Project started in September 2016 and completed December 2016 in Hong Kong.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
At the entrance, a long communal sommelier table greets the guest as they arrive. A large bronze cast bespoke designed Pig sits prominently at the centre of the table. He holds 6 bottles of chilled “wine in swine”. Its a playful nudge to the character Napoleon the pig from George Orwell’s Animal farm. Maxwell also designed the stools around the sommelier table.
As the guests venture through the space, dense clusters of hand blown, honey coloured glass Bee Hive pendant lighting float evocatively above them. The ceiling, treated with hand pressed brass metal in a bee wing pattern, and ensures the space is blanketed a soft, comforting amber coloured glow.
The rich narrative of the space is further articulated with Kerrie Brown, “Broken Green” wallpaper. The pattern resonates with the memory of a 300 year old French Chateaus when the Napoleonic empire saturated Europes psyche. The wallpaper appears to sit like delicate layers of a patterned midian on the wall, as if one just opened the door to a long ago abandoned building. The heavy, rich maximalist pattern of the wallpaper is accentuated by the sharp narrative of monochromatic contemporary honey comb tiles.
The whole space is pulled into a central focus by the “hearth”, a wood fired oven. Set within the open kitchen, it enables the chef to survey his empire and directly interact with his diners. The space is after all a theatre for the chef and his diners.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The space is approximately 90square metres.
restaurant, design, Hong Kong. Emma, Maxwell, 12000, Francs, Pantone, Green
In 1795, to be sure his men had safe rations, the French government under Napoleon offered a 12,000-franc prize to anyone who could come up with a food preservation method.It was this historical context with intimately informed the spatial strategy. The menu of 12,000 francs is based entirely on preserved foods. It was vital to conduct thorough historical research.This informed every element of the space, the lighting, wall paper and timber finishes. Authenticity is everything.
With out a doubt the most challenging part of this project was Hong Kong itself. With incredibly high rents the project had a very short time frame for completion. That coupled with a tiny space in a very busy and central location that had over its 100 years f existence had just as many renovations. It was not until demolition phase that the true shell of the space could be seen for the first time. The many layers of previous renovation works proved to challenging in their mass. This essential meant that the design had to be an organic process during the build. Not the easiest thing to do with a six week build.
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Emma Maxwell: Design lead. and Paolo Cuento: Head of CAD
#1: Edmon Leong, photographer, 12,000 Francs, 2016
#2: Edmon Leong, photographer, 12,000 Francs, 2016
#3: Edmon Leong, photographer, 12,000 Francs, 2016
#4: Edmon Leong, photographer, 12,000 Francs, 2016
#5: Edmon Leong, photographer, 12,000 Francs, 2016
#6: Edmon Leong, photographer, 12,000 Francs, 2016
#7: Edmon Leong, photographer, 12,000 Francs, 2016