Mathieu Lehanneur renovates interior of Louvre's Café Mollien

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Mathieu Lehanneur adds pink light fittings to interior of Louvre's Cafe Mollien

French designer Mathieu Lehanneur has renovated a cafe inside the Louvre in Paris, adding modern pink acrylic light fixtures that contrast with their historical surrounds (+ slideshow).

Café Mollien at the Louvre by Mathieu Lehanneur

Three translucent lampshades diffuse the glow of each pill-shaped light, casting a pink-toned shadow against the cafe's stone walls.

Café Mollien at the Louvre by Mathieu Lehanneur

Lehanneur, who has previously designed interiors for a London hotel and a bar in Paris, described the translucent lampshades as "three large pale-pink eggs" floating in space.

Cafe Mollien is located in the Denon Wing of the Louvre, and links the Carrousel shopping centre and Tuileries Gardens with the museum and its art collection.

Café Mollien at the Louvre by Mathieu Lehanneur

The space comprises an L-shaped dining room and terrace that offers a view of the Louvre's Pyramid. Inside, 66 seats are arranged around a brushed-brass lighting structure with branch-like extensions stretching towards the high ceilings.

Café Mollien at the Louvre by Mathieu Lehanneur

Stark white chairs contrast with the pink lighting, but a strip of brushed brass around the edge of the tables connects the furniture and lighting elements together.

The white of the furniture is also echoed in the marble of a 10-metre-long bar in the cafe's entrance.

Café Mollien at the Louvre by Mathieu Lehanneur

"In the alcoves of the tall historic windows, the presence of lacquered wooden benches upholstered in fabric alongside matt white furniture is almost blasphemous in this palace of colour, and seems to set and accentuate the rhythm of the space," said Lehanneur.

Café Mollien at the Louvre by Mathieu Lehanneur

Lehanneur has previously worked on projects ranging from restaurant interiors to lighting installations. He has recently completed a series of electronic products, including a 20-sided speaker and a portable radio, and was named head of Chinese technology company Huawei's design research centre last year.

Photography is by Michel Giesbrecht.