Blue by Alain Ducasse

Blue by Alain Ducasse and designed by Jouin Manku will bring the art and elegance of French dining to ICONSIAM, Bangkok’s newest retail and leisure destination overlooking the Chao Phraya River.

  • area / size 3,229 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • Location Bangkok, Thailand,
  • Type Restaurant,
  • At the outset of the project, Jouin and Manku began to explore the notion of ‘French’ in the global imagination that would capture its unique essence, quite removed from hackneyed clichés. They refined this to four core traits with which they could play: the bosquets or secluded gardens of the Château de Versailles, the rich and vibrant colour of royal blue, fashion and the art of pleated textiles, and the sparkle and lustre of the chandelier.

    As they began to consider the situation of the restaurant, occupying a glass-fronted pavilion overlooking the riverside, they also started to consider how they could bring guests on a journey, from the moment of entering the restaurant to encountering the magnificent expanse of the floor-to-ceiling views across Bangkok. Beginning this journey, guests are drawn from the polished stone and glass surfaces of the luxury shopping mall into the welcoming enclosure of a wood-paneled lobby that gives a hint of what lies beyond.

    They move onwards into the lounge, an intimate space, utterly secluded from the world that they have left behind. Here they are surrounded by wood and light, evoking the bosquet, a space of pleasure and privacy carved from nature. A screen of suspended lamps in walnut and brass encircles the space with a gentle vertical rhythm, suggesting an enchanted forest alive with the play of fireflies. A bronze mesh light feature that leads from the ceiling of the lobby through to the lounge casts dappled light as if falling through a canopy of trees. The tones of the upholstery and textiles are earthy with a touch of caramel and an accent of green while the travertine stone floor is enlivened with the soft texture of embroidered rugs, the moss of the forest floor underfoot. The lounge, set around a giant column, can be taken in one glance, perhaps with 24 people or so enjoying a pre-dinner cocktails or coffee and pastries in the afternoon.

    From there guests either pass through to one of the two private dining rooms or continue into the main dining area, at which point the space opens up dramatically, revealing an elegant room of sumptuous royal blue, silver, and white, with the city of Bangkok laid out before them. From the lounge only a tantalizing glimpse of the main dining area is offered – as they enter the room an intriguing glimmer of texture and sparkle reveals itself as a dazzling light installation suspended above: a stylized chandelier crafted from pleats of soft fabric, metal and cut glass fins, in an organic form that recalls a creature of the sea – not far away along the bends of the river – and gives the room with light and energy.

    This is a space of joy and celebration, of social gatherings. In the centre of the room, beneath the chandelier, curved banquette seating encloses tables which can be arranged for smaller or larger groups. From this distinct area expressed in walnut and cream leather that activates the centre of the restaurant, guests can step out into the blue, an area of greater calm and a little more formality, where tables for two, four or six are spaced further apart on a rich blue carpet, complemented with the blue fabric of the walls and ceiling too. Here the energy changes and the focus is on the view.

    Designer: Jouin Manku
    Design Team: Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku, Mickaël Gouret, Bruno Pimpanini, Ken Tchikaya
    Architect: PIA Interior Company
    Photography: W Workspace