Architect Jean Nouvel has completed a design showroom in Montpellier where furniture and homewares are caged behind chain link fencing.
A four-storey atrium divides the split-level building into two halves, with staircases that criss-cross from side to side.
A bookshop occupies the ground floor, alongside a restaurant furnished with stacking metal chairs that Nouvel designed especially.
The facade of the building is embellished with a series of words, which name activities that might take place in the home.
As the fifth RBC Design Centre to open in France, the Montpellier store was initiated by brand founder Franck Argentin and is due to be inaugurated later this month.
Read more about the chair designed by Nouvel for the showroom in our earlier story.
Here's some information from Ateliers Jean Nouvel:
RBC Design Centre - Montpellier
Designed by Jean Nouvel and initiated by Franck Argentin, founder of RBC, RBC Design Centre is the ultimate place dedicated to design.
This amazing building of 9 levels, is a 2 000 m2 art of living destination with no equivalence in Europe in its architecture and philosophy.
RBC Design Centre celebrates a global design culture that goes from furniture pieces, objects, books to exhibitions and food.
Synthesis of RBC’s know-how, leading player in the french design retail, RBC Design Centre presents the best international brands of furniture, lighting, kitchen and bathroom design (Alias, Artemide, Arper, B*B ITALIA, Belux, Cappellini, Cassina, Emu, Fantoni, Flos, Fontana Arte, Foscarini, Knoll, Antonio Luppi, Magis, MDF, Muuto, Poliform, Poltrona Frau, Varenna, Vitra…), taken care of by a great architecture and design passionate professionals' team who is entirely dedicated to the best indoor and outdoor solutions for better living. To support even better people’s needs, a lightnig designer position has been created so that lighting becomes a true wellness source in function as well as in design.
RBC Design Centre also features a 120 m2 Kartell shop and a 150 m2 shop in shop dedicated to smaller objects and supporting international and french young design editors such as Edition sous Etiquette, Atelier d’Exercices, Chilewich, Eno…
Positioned as a cultural destination, RBC Design Centre will also held a number of design exhibitions, together with book signatures in its amazing library of 4000 books on architecture, design and food.
The 70 seat restaurant – MIA by Pascal Sanchez, with a large 120 seat terrace has just opened. Chef Pascal Sanchez has worked more than 15 years with famous Pierre Gagnaire, first at its parisian place and further on at Sketch (London) and Twist (Mandarin Oriental-Las Vegas). From those years he takes with him the love of a very modern mix of good local food, art and design. Outdoor tables and chairs have been specially designed by Jean Nouvel and edited by EMU and tableware is 100% Alessi.
The building designed by Jean Nouvel can be first seen as a simple box, in a very neutral grey, enhanced by key words in white: CREATE – DREAM– READ – COOK – LIGHT – LIVE
Once you enter, the outside opacity gives place to transparency. The deep unique grey tone of the building is a perfect scene for the strong museum like set ups of the furniture pieces.
Distributed on eight levels on both sides of a central major hole, protected by a stainless stitch, they are colors and life of the place, inviting to roam from a visual request to the other one.
This spectacular "furniture wardrobe", cut by stairs that link levels, looks inspired by mathematician Escher’s drawings.
The building is situated in Port Marianne, a brand new contemporary area in Montpellier where Jean Nouvel has also designed the town hall.
The lighting design is by Yann Kersalé.