Le Café Français
1 & 3 place de la Bastille, Paris


As modern as gold

Gilbert and Thierry Costes commissioned the decorator India Mahdavi, and studio M/M, to design the décor for their new Parisian flagship, in Place de la Bastille. This emblematic location, laden with history, was reflected with a contemporary twist in the bold decors designed by the architect. With a strong visual identity based on references to French heritage, dynamic artwork is a feature of the atmosphere created.

The neo-geometric “Café Français” logo with its tricolour accents is omnipresent at various levels throughout: marble inlays and terrazzo on the floors, aged mirrors on the walls, decorative plaster mouldings, bespoke lighting fixtures, etc … The radical effect of the lines is tempered by the gentleness of the furniture and the richness of the materials.

As part of this exclusive project, AC Matière’s brief was to cover all the partitions, niches, ceilings, semi-circular arches and alcoves with small gilt copper leaf. The art of gilding, so dear to French heritage, was here revisited in a totally contemporary spirit. We focused our attention on obtaining a singular gold éclat, a particular quality of glint and subtle finishes. Gold, when used in these doses, acts like a mirror and its “bling” transforms into a source of light, contributing warmth and an impression of space to the whole. As new craftspeople of light, we were happy to be part of this great project and to contribute to revealing to others the outstanding decorative qualities of gold.