Madame Brasserie, face to face with history

At the first ring of the Eiffel Tower, a bistro overlooking the city and its legendary monument. A dialogue that is by no means taken for granted. And solved with a modern spirit

Madame Brasserie, Paris

With 20,000 visitors per day, the Tour Eiffel is one of the world’s busiest monuments. Its first floor (at a height of 57.63 meters above ground) contains the Madame Brasserie, a recently reopened restaurant following a long team effort for the renovation: the studio Encore Heureux Architectes has created the “box,” while the designer Ramy Fischler has focused on the furnishings. They have worked in close contact with Thierry Marx, the award-winning chef in charge of the cuisine.

“This was a complex worksite,” says Nicola Delon of the firm Encore Heureux Architectes. “Working on such a special structure, we had to proceed by removing as much weight as possible: to be safe, we had to weigh all the debris from the dismantling of the previous version, and then add only as much weight as we had removed.” 

The space is organized on two levels and relies on relaxing colors: the raw earth of a sort of impluvium that creates contact between the two levels, right at the entrance; the cork covering the walls on the lower level; the neutral beige of the thick carpeting on the floor.

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On the ceiling, pipes and conduits have been coated in gray-green (selected from the range of past colorings of the tower), using paint with a flocked effect: an idea that aesthetically reconnects to the world of late 19th-century “iron architecture,” and at the same time makes it possible not to use suspended ceilings. All these materials, moreover, have been chosen to offer ideal acoustic comfort, which is important in a place with so many visitors.

On the upper level, the area for the public faces the Trocadéro on one side, and the central void of the tower on the other. To provide all the guests with good views, the central part has been slightly raised. Most of the furnishings are custom pieces: the seats by Cassina Custom Interiors, the lights by Lucien Gau. While the lower level has been designed as a small bistro, the upper floor is a high-class restaurant. Both are suspended in the air, in one of the world’s most unique locations. 

Photo © Vincent Leroux, Nicolas Trouillard