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Where Gastronomy and Design Unite

15th Sep 2020

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If The Jane in Antwerp, AIRrepublic in Cadzand and Blueness Bar and Restaurant likewise in Cadzand weren’t enough for three Michelin-star chef Sergio Herman, his latest creation is anything but disappointing. Occupying a 1960s modernist building in Antwerp, Belgium, Le Pristine is “an ode to Italian cuisine, flair, class, purity and beauty in combination with Sergio’s Zeeland terroir.” The final result blends perfectly into the design-driven city and Danish design studio Space Copenhagen, who were commissioned for the project, took inspirations from the original building and its surroundings to create “an inviting collage of historic references”.

A region saturated with renaissance architecture, history and a plethora of artists, Space Copenhagen were immediately drawn to the way in which these artists depicted the rural and rudimentary settings and used those inspirations to envision a modern social experience with a slow aesthetic as a part of the entire restaurant experience. 

The colour scheme sticks predominantly to dark shades of blue, black, grey and green – again, paying tribute to the Dutch and Flemish old master painters including, but not limited to, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Rubens. There is one noteworthy piece of art that punctuates enough colour for the entire premises, namely, the five-metre-high sculpture by Dutch artist Frederik Molenschot. Hanging from the dining room ceiling, the piece comprises of large wheels of parmesan in a tinted-blue colour.

The collaboration within the space only continues from there, as Dutch designers Maarten Baas and Bertjan Pot were asked to create a service desk for the front-of-house, which has been dotted with exposed light bulbs to create an intentional sporadic look. 

Upstairs, Rotterdam-based designer Sabine Marcelis was asked to create a seven-metre-long drinks counter using a puce-pink resin, and, using the same coloured resin, also created a small light installation behind the bar which boasts a pinkish glow.

Occupying two courtyards, Le Pristine’s outdoor spaces are just as impressive as the interiors – one of which houses a 10-metre-tall tree and features a grand pile of firewood which is used in the wood oven. Herman’s latest creation pushes the boundaries once again to merge design-led dining with experiential gastronomy, creating a one of a kind experience. 

Image Credits Paul de Meijer