Food with edible packaging is served around a circular counter at the WikiBar in Paris by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur.
The cafe is the first in a proposed chain of WikiBars selling an innovative range of WikiPearl foods that are protected by an edible skin. Products in the range include ice creams that don't melt when touched, yoghurts that can be eaten without a spoon and cheeses that don't need to be wrapped in foil.
Referencing the molecular structure of the food, Mathieu Lehanneur used a tessellated pattern of hexagons as the motif for the cafe's interior.
This motif was applied to a mirrored light on the ceiling and a seating area beside the window. The outlines of hexagons also shine through the counter from lighting concealed underneath.
Glass cloches surround a selection of treats on sale, which can also be taken home using simple biodegradable bags to keep them clean. Meanwhile, the story of the brand is displayed across the rear wall.
Harvard professor David Edwards started the WikiFoods company with designer FranĂ§ois Azambourg and biologist Don Ingber, after first developing a concept for foods that can survive without protective plastic packaging. Edwards is also the founder of ArtScience Labs and collaborated with Philippe Starck on an aerosol spray that lets users enjoy alcohol without getting drunk.
Another Wikibar is set to open soon in Massachusetts and a series of pop-up and mobile bars are also planned for the near future.
Designer Mathieu Lehanneur has worked on several unusual interior design projects, from an advertising agency with caves made from pulped paper to a room at the Centre Pompidou where teenagers can hang out. See more design by Mathieu Lehanneur.
Photography is by Michel Giesbrecht.
Here's a project description from the design team:
Wikibar by Mathieu Lehanneur
Mathieu Lehanneur is responsible for the interior design of the WikiBar, the first of many, that will open its doors at 4 Rue de Bouloi in the 1st district in Paris. A simple as well as radical concept: to offer good and eco-responsible food fighting and addressing the problem of pollution from packaging. This Wiki Food incorporates the natural principle of grapes: a sphere with an edible coating to protect the food. A principle adaptable to drinks, cream and from now onwards ice creams created in collaboration with Philippe Faure, the maestro of ice creams. Ice creams that do not melt in your hand are available in this first WikiBar!
Mathieu Lehanneur has created a decor symbolised by a mirror-light, an illuminating and reflective object formed of hexagons "a geometrical reference to the molecular structure of WikiPearl laminations (). A graphic design and a matter of cookery demonstrations for this revolutionary concept." A symbol of the approximation of science and design, a logical onward step for the designer who has regularly collaborated with Le Laboratoire since the production of "Andrea," the air purification system through plants. Mobile WikiBar, pop-up wiki bars are already on the horizon, and the next permanent Wiki Bar will be in the forthcoming Lab Cambridge, currently being designed. The American version of the Parisian Le Laboratoire initiated by David Edwards.