„A restaurant worthy of my Opera,” was one of architect Charles Garnier’ wish when designed the masterpiece that is the famous Palais Garnier Opera House from France. The Phantom restaurant is located at the eastern entrance in the Opéra Garnier, more commonly known as the Paris Opéra, a 1,600-seat opera house on the Place de l’Opéra in Paris, which was the primary home of the Paris Opera from 1875 until 1989. The project of designing a new restaurant was assigned to the architectural office of Odile DECQ Benoit CORNETTE – Architectes Urbanistes after a contest and after three years it was inaugurated on 27th June 2011. It is quite an architectural challenge what French architect Odile Decq has made if we think that due to the National Commission of Historic Monuments’ strict regulations, not a single part of the structure can actually touch the building’s antique stone.
These implications increased construction costs to six million Euros. So, defined by fluid and wavy lines and surfaces, the appearance of the structure that forms the restaurant is suspended in space center, a silent ghost floating through monumental pillars and above the space.
An undulating and uninterrupted glass curtain, sliding between the pillars that allows for transparency and clear views steals the attention once you enter the restaurant and promises a unique dining experience. To ensure the 90 seats required in the project, the restaurant was structured on two levels and mezzanine was designed as a continuous surface, cut only in the existing columns and stair access. The predominant colors are red and white and together with the contemporary shapes and modern interior design creates an interesting contrasting effect with the fabulous Neo-Baroque interiors of the building. Much of the dome’aspects remains visible in the floor area, but upstairs due to small distance symmetry structure is not fully perceive, benchmark interior perspective changes, the cornerstone is a stone chandelier suspended from high and low, so mezzanine level becomes a private dining area.
Carpet runs down the stairs and under the same wavy shape of the entire assembly, over the center of the floor black ground floor, going up to the contour of the glass facade. Behind the central dining area, close access to the work room, lounge restaurant is placed in the form of sinuous couches, same as those of the mezzanine level and the bar is a black sculptural piece. These contemporary additions are perfectly blended with the fantastic classical details without altering history and producing a theatrical character reminiscent of the phantom of the opera which was once performed within the auditorium.