This month sees the re-opening of legendary Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d’Antibes, France. This legendary place that has evolved carrying stories, memories and anecdotes of the personalities that visited throughout the decades features newly designed areas by Brazilian Architect Patricia Anastassiadis.
This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the property that has been the ultimate location for dazzling parties, important dinners and alluring fashion shows. It is set in the most iconic area of the French Riviera and renowned for its notable guests, which included famous artists, members of royal families, Hollywood stars and politicians from all over the world.
Originally completed in 1870 by Alexis de Pletscheyeff, former captain of the Hussards of the Russian Imperial Guard and a group of French aristocrats and investors, the Grand Hotel du Cap was built as a retreat for intellectuals and artists in an exceptional location favoured by Hyppolite de Villemessant, Founder of Le Figaro. The official inauguration took place on 26th February 1870.
The property has since opened its doors to world-renowned personalities. Novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, who spent many summers at Hôtel du Cap-Eden Roc in the 1920s was inspired by it when writing about his Hotel des Étrangers featured in the novel Tender is the Night. Illustrious American writers Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein, painters such as Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall as well as an incredible roster of historical figures of the 20th Century, have all set foot on the Napoleon III-style building.
Patricia Anastassiadis was commissioned to create new design concepts for the three main dining areas of the property including Bar La Rotonde, The Eden-Roc Grill and Restaurant Louroc that would respect the history and memories of the hotel, whilst celebrating the creative minds who were once guests.
Anastassiadis’ primary focus was to provide a fresh and contemporary look for the dining areas by creating a continuation in the dialogue started by previous architects and interior designers. Each one of them have left an indelible mark on the property, which is still visible so many years later.
“The shades of blue and green that respectively recall the colour of the ocean and the flora of the French Riviera are imprinted in my memories ever since my childhood. My family and I used to visit a destination near the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc because my uncle used to live near to Cap d’Antibes. This is why, for me, this project is all about memory and its many layers.
It is a tribute to the intellectual abundance of the hotel’s history that it is as representative as the architecture of the building itself. With this project, we are developing the archeology of today by digging into the recollections of a vivid past that is still present in every single corner of the property.“ Says Patricia Anastassiadis, Founder of Anastassiadis.
The view of the alley that connects the main property to the iconic hotel’s pavilion is incredibly impactful. Anastassiadis recalls walking through the path towards the sea while capturing the sound, smells and colours of the surroundings. The alley’s view and its many colour variations during sunset were a great source of inspiration.
LA ROTONDE BAR
For the new design of La Rotonde, the Brazilian Architect was mainly inspired by the original oval-shaped room surrounded by beautiful gardens. The selection of curved and sinuous pieces of furniture here highlights that there are no sharp angles in nature. The aim was to create an organic flow in the passage from the bar to the outside areas by playing with shapes, textures, and colours, especially with those green tones inspired by the path towards the sea.
To allow for a more organic flow of people, Anastassadis worked on a scheme to improve circulation. As a result, round-shaped furniture as dining areas have been designed; curvy sofas and chairs as well as an oval rug placed in the center of the room that reproduces the exact shades of green of the tree leaves of the garden. A number of Anastassidis’ own bespoke seats, including the Uchoa and Zelda chairs, are made out of bamboo for a contemporary look that reminds of the allure of the room of the 1920’s. Anastassiadis also commissioned Paris-based Atelier Alain Ellouz to create custom oval-shaped luminaires in alabaster that diffuse a delicate yet vibrant light to references the moon light.
THE EDEN-ROC GRILL
The Eden-Roc Grill features nautical tones of blue and red that are synonymous with the style of the French Riviera. The dining areas of the Grill are connected through the pool and welcome a breezy and buoyant atmosphere while keeping the natural elegance of the location – one of the aspects that fascinate me the most about this project.
The Louroc Restaurant is set in an idyllic area, right by the foreland looking out to the Lerins islands in the Mediterranean. Anastassiadis’ inspiration for the design came from the spectacular event of rocks meeting the sea and by this restaurant’s historic rendez-vous. Many notable guests sat at these tables, as it has always been the place of legendary encounters. Our project does not erase the past but acknowledges it and explores it further. The original arches, a key architectonic element of the restaurant, were kept by Anastassiadis to symbolize their support to the history of the property and continue to do so in a new decade. Also, the trompe-l’œil on the walls have remained intact as they play a significant role in telling the story of the hotel while dialoguing with its refreshed layout.
The furniture in the restaurant are custom made and been designed by Anastassiadis exclusively for this project. The Riviera sofa, the Eden-Roc Chair and the Audrey console are only some of the bespoke pieces that make this area of the hotel unique. The room’s main walls are covered with corrugated wooden panels that resemble the movement of the waves in the sea adding a sophisticated touch to the area.
The colour palette chosen for this area features nautical shades of ocean blue and coral tones – the latter in particular reflects the colours of sunset to represent the beauty of the passing of time. The dining areas of the Grill are connected thoruhg the pool and offer guests calming views of the ocean.
“It has been an honour for me to be invited to contribute to such an important milestone in the history of the hotel’s design and architecture. It has been truly enchanting to work on a project that provides us with affectionate stories that still resonate within the property. I took time during my many visits to Cap d’Antibes to listen to its sound, enjoy the silence and sink into its essence. Our redesigned areas are nothing but a conversation between past and present in this place with remarkable heritage”. – says Patricia Anastassiadis