Military church in Antwerp reinvented as a restaurant by Piet Boon
Dutch designer Piet Boon has transformed the interior of a former military hospital chapel in Antwerp, Belgium, into a contemporary restaurant featuring a sculptural chandelier.
Piet Boon's Amsterdam studio worked with lighting designers .PSLAB and artists Studio Job on the interior of The Jane restaurant, combining modern elements with the chapel's high ceilings and patterned tile floor.
"The main features we retained in The Jane were the ceiling, of which the peeling paintwork was preserved, and the original pottery floor tiles," the design team told Dezeen.
Described by the designers as "fine dining meets rock 'n roll", the restaurant accommodates its kitchen in the church's former altar.
.PSLAB's large chandelier made from steel and hand-blown crystal glass forms a centrepiece in the restaurant. Thin steel poles extend out in all directions from its central cylinder, with small crystal globes attached to the end of each one.
Black circular tables and pale green armchairs sit beneath the chandelier, while larger seating areas are positioned against the walls.
Studio Job created 500 colourful glass window panels to replace the former stained-glass windows.
Referencing "stories of good and evil, rich and poor, life and death as well as good food and religion", the panels include images of sunflowers, devils and skulls.
A marble-topped bar is installed on an upper-level viewing platform and surrounded by black upholstered bar stools. An illuminated skull light hangs down at the rear of the space.
Bespoke speakers were also installed to "spread sound", reducing noise and echo from the high ceilings. "The acoustics of the restaurant play an important role in speech intelligibility and ambiance," added the designers.
Here's some information from Piet Boon:
'Divine' fine dining experience The Jane opens its doors March 25th
Michelin-star chef Sergio Herman and chef Nick Bril created their "fine dining meets rock 'n roll" restaurant vision together with Piet Boon over three years ago in a mythical location in Antwerp; the chapel of a former military hospital. Piet Boon® Studio, responsible for the interior design and styling of The Jane, since then collaborated in the chapel's unique transformation into a high-end, contemporary restaurant with international allure where experience is key.
Based on her belief in authenticity, functionality and materials that 'age beautifully' the studio chose to restore only the highly necessary in the chapel and hence preserve the rest. The original ceiling amongst others conveys the pure, understated and respectful environment that serves as the authentic host for the ultimate fine dining experience.
The original altar gave way to the kitchen that - just like the atelier - is embraced by glass, like a modern shrine. It allows guests to witness everything the team creates for them.
The shared passion of Herman, Bril and Boon to work with pure, rich materials is expressed in the interior in which qualitatively outstanding natural stone, leather and oak wood are used.
Moreover Piet Boon® Studio, as with many of her projects, collaborated with a number of leading creative partners to shape the "fine dining meets rock 'n roll" character of the overall experience. Studio Job, Mathieu Nab and .PSLAB and others each delivered their signature part within the total concept.
Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel of Studio Job designed the windows consisting of 500 unique panels. Inspired by the chapel's original function, foam spatulas, sunflowers, devils, skulls, babies, Jesus on the cross, dice, apple cores, wrenches, ice cream cones, a canon, croissants, penguins, trophies, gas masks and birthday cakes portray a contemporary translation of the old stained-glass windows. Archetypes from various worlds each tell masterpiece stories of good and evil, rich and poor, life and death as well as good food and religion.
The 'piece de résistance' in the centre of the restaurant is a 800 kilograms-weighing gigantic chandelier of 12 by 9 meters with over 150 lights, designed by the Beirut-based design studio .PSLAB. The chandelier was created in such a way that it contributes to the intimate and ambient divinity of the chapel interior. The team, specialised in the design and production of site-specific contemporary lighting, laid out an overall lighting plan for The Jane to accentuate the unique elements of both the building and the interior. It is aimed to create a scenic ambience by seamlessly combining artistry and engineering.
Together with Belgian company SERAX, specialised in decoration accessories, Piet Boon® designed tableware that conveys a shared passion for attention to detail and perfection. Base by Piet Boon® is a high quality bone white porcelain collection combining functionality and design. The tableware has high thermal stability, is lead- and cadmium free and will be featured in the The Jane's Upper Room Bar.