Café Mollien: the Louvre Under New Light by Mathieu Lehanneur

Café Mollien has been redesigned by Mathieu Lehanneur, a French designer well-known for defying classic sets. In fact, this new space, located on the first-floor landing of the Escalier Mollien, have elements that defy and supplement the grandeur of the historic interiors.

bannerAdjoining the gallery that houses works such as Eugène Delacroix’s “Liberty leading the people” and Théodore Géricault’s “The raft of Medusa”, and surrounded by a decorative cornucopia that includes imposing Corinthian columns, vertiginous ceilings with ornately carved caryatids and atlantes, and La Nymphe de Fontainebleau, a four by two-metre bronze sculpture by 16th century Italian artist Benvenuto Cellini, the 150 square metre L-shape space is surrounded by a magnificence of extraordinary proportions.

Café Mollien: the Louvre Under New Light by Mathieu LehanneurAdd the impressive views of I. M. Pei’s glass pyramid and the Tuileries Gardens in the distance, and you get a space that defies intervention. Lehanneur’s answer? To design a statement of his own in the form of a lighting sculpture of grand proportions.

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Café Mollien: the Louvre Under New Light by Mathieu LehanneurThe structure itself features tubular branches of brushed-brass that stretch up to 4.5 meters in height. The piece, centered on the staircase’s main axis for maximum visibility, bravely takes on the grand scale and rich ornamentation of its surroundings without however kowtowing to their Beaux-Arts aesthetic, choosing a sleeker, Art Deco-inspired style instead.

Café Mollien: the Louvre Under New Light by Mathieu LehanneurSimilarly iconoclastic, the designer has opted for stark white tables and chairs that pop out amidst the earthy hues of the interiors.

banner_blogs_newcatalogueThe furniture’s whiteness is further echoed in the 10-meter marble bar at the entrance while the brass detailing on the tables reflects the lighting structure.

Café Mollien: the Louvre Under New Light by Mathieu LehanneurA short walk from the Mona Lisa, the Café Mollien is perfectly integrated into the surrounding gallery space, welcoming visitors throughout the day with a selection of light snacks.

5Set in the heart of the Pavillon Mollien, the Café Mollien is located beneath Charles-Louis Müller’s painted ceiling, ‘Glory distributing Palms and Crowns’. The café offers a chance to relax, surrounded by ornately carved caryatids and atlantes.

6With a terrace overlooking the Cour Napoléon and the Carrousel garden, the Café Mollien offers a unique perspective on the museum.

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7Mathieu Lehanneur is a French designer who is on the forefront of international design scene; he is also one of the few in his generation to use his talents in a variety of areas, beyond furniture.

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