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Louvre’s Café Mollien by Mathieu Lehanneur

Michel Giesbrecht

Located in the Denon Wing of the Louvre Museum, the Café Mollien reopens its doors after a one-month closure for remodeling. Redesigned by Mathieu Lehanneur, the Café is a new venue linking the Carrousel and the Tuileries Gardens with the Louvre and its collection of masterpieces. In this monumental setting of 150sqm, with its vertiginous ceilings and marble tiled floor punctuated by massive columns, the designer has succeeded in creating a prestigious cafe on a human scale.

“Standing on the landing of the monumental Mollien double staircase built in stone and bronze, with a labyrinth of the finest art galleries in the world stretching ahead of you; the most spectacular, never-ending view over the Tuileries Gardens at your back, and the haunting soul of the nearby Mona Lisa floating through the air… what more could you ask for?” said Mathieu Lehanneur.


Café Mollien comprises an L-shaped dining room and a 230 terrace offering the best view of the Louvre Pyramid. Inside, 66 seats are arranged around a magnificent brushed-brass, acrylic lighting structure, with organic-like extensions stretching up to 4.5 meters high.

The designer describes these as “three, large pale-pink eggs; luminous and translucent, floating in space and inhabiting the void that separates us from the ceiling, and act as a signal in the Parisian perspective.”

In the alcoves of the tall historic windows, the presence of lacquered wooden benches upholstered in fabric alongside mat-white furniture, is almost “blasphemous in this palace of color”, and seems to set and accentuate the rhythm of the space. The white of the furniture is also echoed in the marble of the 10-meter long bar at the entrance.

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all images © Michel Giesbrecht