Auberge de L’IllPhotography by Eric Laignel • October 30, 2017
For a historical institution like the three Michelin-starred Auberge de L’Ill, any changes to the original design have to appease loyal guests who are emotionally connected to the Alsatian restaurant. After overhauling the restaurant 10 years ago, Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku of Paris’ Jouin Manku were sought after once again to create an enriching experience in the beloved spot.
A new layout connecting a series of rooms ensures a sense of community, characterized by water, flora, and fauna—elements of the surrounding landscape that convey the magical spirit of the place. The rooms are “more than just places for food,” explains Manku, “they’re places of memories, and we don’t want to erase those.” Each unique room offers a warm and inviting feeling from the intimate salon area to the Veranda, where three large silver disks hanging overheard “bring the reflection of the river a little bit inside,” he says.
A curtain of Murano glass—another abstracted version of the river—inches around the edges of the River room and glimpses the oxidized copper installation of butterflies and paper birds hovering nearby, giving the feeling that “you’re surrounded by a dream,” says Jouin, “and by a reality.” In a curvaceous alcove, bronze reeds embedded in timber is another nod to the local river where a graphic mural from Philip David depicts the pond nearby with storks taking flight over the pale blue and orange carpeting, “tying in nature with the world outside,” says Manku.