Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, in France, called Patrick Jouin (member of Design Hall of Fame) and his architect partner, Sanjit Manku, asking them to give the abbey’s modest hotel and restaurant a luxury makeover.
Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud was founded in 1100 by an eccentric monk who sought to create an “ideal city”. After the French Revolution, the abbey spent two centuries as a notorious prison before it was shut down, restored and reborn as a tourist destination with one priory converted into the hotel and restaurant.
Jouin Manku’s renovation honors the original priory, all creamy white tufa stone with Romanesque and Gothic architecture that is striking for its purity. The new interior also pays homage to the ingenuity of the monks, who made the most of modest resources by crafting clever devices such as mirrors deployed to multiply candlelight. This “monk tech” or “how to kill three or four birds with one stone,” as Jouin and Manku describe it, veers toward interactive screens and multifunctional furnishings. Near-monastic serenity is laced with unconditional contemporary luxury.
“It’s all simple, beautiful materials,” Jouin says.
Source: Interior Design