French architect Odile Decq Benoit Cornette Architects (ODBC) was assigned to design the Phantom restaurant located in one of the most famous Operas in the world, the Opera Garnier in Paris, France. A quite challenging concept since the architect Odile Decq had to deal with many restrictions due to the importance of this historical building; it was forbidden to touch or alter the original structure as the restaurant needed to be “reversible”. “All the facilities, piers, mezzanines and equipment were integrated into the site without touching the stones,” owner Pierre-Francois Blanc was quoted as saying in le JDD.

The facade of the restaurant is made of glass, allowing this way the vistors to have a clear view of Place de l’ Opera whilst at the same time permits the natural light from the exterior to enter and illuminate interior area. There is no visible structure and the glass is held in place by a single strip of bent steel running along the arched curve of the ceiling. Thanks to the fact that the steel strip is fixed to the upper cornices of the columns 6 meters above the ground with stainless steel connecting rods the whole effect seems to be magical. Narrow columns extend upwards towards the molded plaster hull, which curves to form the edges of the handrail. This vessel, which has been slipped under the cupola, is a cloud formation floating between the existing elements of the room without touching them. This way Phantom, whose white veil glides surreptitiously in space  manages to change forms and shape.

Photographs by Roland Halbe


Odile Decq Benoit Cornette Architects (ODBC)


ODILE DECQ [b. France 1955]
Diploma in Architecture, 1978 [U.P.6, Paris]
Diploma in Urban Planning, 1979 [Institute of Political Studies, Paris]
Member of the French Architecture Academy, France 1997
Commandeur de l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France 2001
“Chevalier de la Lιgion d’Honneur”, France 2003
RIBA International Fellow, England 2007
Honorary Member of the National Society of Architects, Czech Republic 2007

BENOIT CORNETTE [b. France, 1953- d.1998]
Degree in Medicine, 1978 [University of Rennes]
Diploma in Architecture, 1985 [U.P.6, Paris]
Chevalier de l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France 1997


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