01.01.87 - Architecture

Manin, Tokyo

 "In 1985, I was called to Tokyo to make a restaurant, my first realization in Japan. I do not know anything at all, I do not know anyone, I arrive, I landed fresh. I am shown an absolutely incredible place, incredibly ugly, to do this restaurant: it was in the third basement of a building in a business district, a thing entirely vertical, a tracery of huge antiseismic beams. A place absolutely impossible. I thought to save a place like this, you had to start from a strong scenario, and one of the strongest scenarios I know is the couple. Why ? I do not know where we are going to look for inspiration. For the restaurant Manin, I make this kind of hole, with two monsters face to face: I make a black staircase, monstrous, ultra masculine, oppressive and, in front of him, a large padded red velvet wall, soft, slightly inclined, also a little oppressive, a little moist ... This restaurant lives from the confrontation of these two masses who have an extremely strong relationship, there is a real vibration between the two. And we, who are on a tiny scale next to these two monsters, a little like the kids in a parent fight, well, we're here and we're trying to get a little bit between the two ... a totally theatrical place. This is where I first experienced the real, total theatricality, a staging of the human in public places. After, since it was about love, meeting, couple, I refined a little the details, and I had a nice idea to make the toilet, since the toilets of men and women were simply separated by a blue, ultraviolet, very dark glass, but still transparent. The sink was a round and flat table: half of the round was at the ladies and the other at the gentlemen, but in the reflection of this dark glass, it was a complete round that was lost in the night blue. When someone was washing their hands on the other side, all of a sudden, thanks to a small, mischievously placed spot, his hands would appear out of nowhere, on the same white table as yours. It was like a kind of meeting of hands floating like this in the infinite, a pretty pretty symbol of the beginning of a meeting, of love ... of the beginning of a couple's encounter. " Ph.S

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