Restaurant & Bar Design Awards winner is a former church turned high-end eatery
The results of the annual Restaurant & Bar Design Awards have just been announced, featuring Belgian The Jane triumphing in the overall winner category. Last year, on the commission of Michelin-star chef Sergio Herman and chef Nick Bril, Dutch Piet Boon studio transformed an old church into a “fine dining meets rock ‘n roll” culinary and sensory experience. The chapel of the former military hospital of Antwerp went under only as much retouch as necessary; the architects tried to retain everything that could be saved in order to preserve the exceptional ambiance of the space.
Before assuming that The Jane’s victory is only due to its extraordinary setting, one should take a closer look at the interior. Although the religious characteristic is very much present and played with, it is never weighs down the space. The former altar is now functioning as the kitchen, set up in a glass shell that gives guests a chance to take a look at how their meals are prepared. This idea of a ‘modern shrine’ is taken throughout the interior, mainly owing to the pure, high quality materials used. Natural stone, real leather, and oak wood characterise the space, rich materials that only become nobler with age.
To maintain the high attention to detail and quality throughout, Piet Boon invited professional collaborators to work on specific elements. The space-defining giant chandelier was designed by .PSLAB. The Beirut-based studio constructed a custom lighting system that weighs almost a tonne and consists of over 150 lights. Its shape and materials is carefully composed to the interior reflecting on its divinity.
The windows, made of 500 unique panels, are also referencing religious imagery. Created by Studio Job, they present a contemporary reading of old stained windows. These details, fitting seamlessly with Piet Boon’s dedication to quality make sure that The Jane provides a high-end experience not only for the tastebuds but for all the other senses as well.
Photos: Richard Powers
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