APPAREIL Architecture has recently restored Quebec’s renowned gastronomic restaurant, Le Cloché penché. The owners wanted to reimagine the space in the spirit of their culinary creations, at once audacious and classical. The APPAREIL Architecture team redesigned the space in its entirety: from the kitchen to the bar, through the tables’ arrangement and the restaurant’s aesthetic. Their challenge was to find a balance between the old and the new, between respect for the place’s history and the integration of contemporary elements that stay true to the soul of this beloved establishment.
Originally an old bank dating back to 1916, the restaurant’s floor and moldings are original. The large windows let in abundant light and highlight the wooden moldings that stand in contrast to the white walls. The resulting classical atmosphere stays true to the place’s spirit, while bringing it into the contemporary period through integrated elements of design: from light fixtures and terrazzo tables to benches.
APPAREIL Architecture works with artisans to create bespoke architectural and furniture elements, such as the plate-shaped ceramic lamps, hand-made by Jacques and Anna. “The Clocher penché has always highlighted its artisans’ work, and we did the exact same thing with the space. This renders it at once very Quebecois and unique.” Says Justine Dumas, industrial designer at APPAREIL Architecture.
APPAREIL Architecture aimed to keep the kitchen at the center of the restaurant, while also opening it up onto the dining room, so as to facilitate exchanges with clients and optimize the serving team’s movements. Surrounded by a structure that showcases it, it takes center stage as the restaurant’s heart, in the image of the Cloché’s cuisine.
Previously near the vestibule, the bar has been moved to the back of the room, so as to facilitate movement and make it more pleasant. The idea was to create different zones and atmospheres, that renew the client’s experience according to where they are seated. At the entrance, the zone with a long, curving bench offers a more intimate and enveloping experience, while the long, right bench in the main room allows clients to enjoy a view onto the kitchen and experience the restaurant’s more animated and friendly atmosphere.
The new space distances itself from the monochromatic aesthetic of the traditional bistro, and more deeply embraces its Nordic identity through its color palate. Forest green mingles with essences of orange wood and tones of brown and terracotta that hearken to our terroir. With this project, APPAREIL Architecture designs a restaurant that highlights creativity, local products and the work of artisans, and where resonates an honest and authentic design that showcases our culture.