Maison François Brasserie London, The Guild Of Saint Luke / John Whelan | Yellowtrace

Maison François Brasserie London, The Guild Of Saint Luke / John Whelan | Yellowtrace

Maison François Brasserie London, The Guild Of Saint Luke / John Whelan | Yellowtrace

Maison François Brasserie London, The Guild Of Saint Luke / John Whelan | Yellowtrace

Maison François Brasserie London, The Guild Of Saint Luke / John Whelan | Yellowtrace

Maison François Brasserie London, The Guild Of Saint Luke / John Whelan | Yellowtrace

Maison François Brasserie London, The Guild Of Saint Luke / John Whelan | Yellowtrace

 

John Whelan, Creative Director of the artist collective, The Guild of Saint Luke, has created a deliciously rich interior scheme for Maison François brasserie in London. The studio has created an opulently layered, deeply inviting space that directly references Ricardo Bofill’s La Fabrica project in Barcelona. The interior, once described as nothing but a giant concrete cube, is now an incredibly sophisticated brasserie designed around the form of a soaring arch.

Whelan explains that upon entering the space, he was immediately encouraged to base his design around La Fabrica – an abandoned cement factory that Bofill transformed into offices for his practice in 1973.

“I always try and find a creative route that respects the DNA of the building, and this felt appropriate,” says Whelan. “Furthermore, the client wanted to reference historic brasseries but create a contemporary version – also reflected in the food”.

The monumental arch that defines La Fabrica has been reinterpreted inside Maison François. Walls, awash with terracotta-coloured stucco, feature shallow arch-shaped recesses that sit adjacent to brass light fixtures. Whelan explains, “La Fabrica is probably the greatest home that I will probably never visit, and so the arches were a sort of ‘homage’ to that wonderful creation”.

 

Related: Ricardo Bofill’s Epic Home Within an Old Cement Factory in Spain.

 

Maison François Brasserie London, The Guild Of Saint Luke / John Whelan | Yellowtrace

Maison François Brasserie London, The Guild Of Saint Luke / John Whelan | Yellowtrace

Maison François Brasserie London, The Guild Of Saint Luke / John Whelan | Yellowtrace

Maison François Brasserie London, The Guild Of Saint Luke / John Whelan | Yellowtrace

Maison François Brasserie London, The Guild Of Saint Luke / John Whelan | Yellowtrace

 

Walnut timber was used to sculpt the restaurants custom seating banquettes. Their latticed backs were inspired by the pews of the Maria Heimsuchung Church in Germany, that Whelan discovered in Robert Goetzfried photography series. Matching walnut dining chairs are upholstered with creamy linen fabric, acting as a counterbalance to the rich colour of the scheme.

A mahogany latticed hood sits above the open kitchen, where French-inspired dishes will be prepared. A giant clock, constructed from bespoke patinated nickel and bronze, sits at the centre of the hood. The grills on either side are meant to mirror those that are featured on the front of a vintage Rolls Royce – a vehicle that is often seen outside on the affluent streets of St James. “The clock is a classic of historic brasserie design, and can be found around the world from Bouillon Julien in Paris to Fischer’s in London,” explains Whelan. “We wanted to have this iconic focal point but with our own style.”

Typical boundaries between the front and back of house are blurred as both chefs and waiters will serve dishes. “Maison François will be everything a brasserie should be – welcoming, fun and hospitable, with classic dishes made with the best seasonal produce we can get our hands on – whilst also ripping up the rulebook when it comes to service,” explains the restaurant’s founder, François O’Neill.

 

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