La Fabrique de Lunettes / Marc Ifrah Architecture

© David Cousin-Marsy

Architects: Marc Ifrah Architecture
Location: , France
Project Team: Marc Ifrah, Stephen Saada, Neila Ben Menadi (intern)
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 120 sqm
Photographs: David Cousin-Marsy

Our challenge: turning an old bank into a modern optical store in an old, but trendy neighborhood of Paris, Le Marais. This project is the result of  great team work between the firm and our clients. We designed the interior of the optical store in the spirit of the fifties adapted to meet the contemporary expectations of the customers.

© David Cousin-Marsy

The store occupies the ground floor of an Haussmaniann building. Though the store is a large open space, its layout comprises several rooms as in an apartment: a waiting room, a living room, a kids room and the laboratory. The laboratory stands behind a glass wall, so customers can see the opticians at work on their state of the art equipment. Customers hence really feel at ease in this homy ambiance. To reinforce this layout, we painted the arch in black and used washed out yellow and blue colors on the walls.

© David Cousin-Marsy

The glasses presentation cabinets have entirely been custom made and are freely inspired by Piet Mondrian’s painting. While the glasses are presented on the upper part of the cabinets with a lit up white background, the lower closed parts of the cabinets are red, blue and yellow parallelepipeds. Our client uses this lower part of the cabinets to store the glasses a hand-away from the samples presented, as well as other materials. The shape and size of the cabinets are adapted to the particular needs of our client. An oriented mirror has been placed on top of each cabinet, enabling the customers to see themselves while trying on the glasses. Under each mirror and due to their inclination, we used the horizontal residual space to print the details and brands of the glasses in order to make them readable through the mirror. On top of being useful information, this optical impression also creates an animation.

The perspective of the store is also enhanced by the very graphic floor, which is made of 10cm by 10cm tiles in two colors – soft and dark grey- from Royal Mosa, laid out in a scaled houndstooth motif. The furniture, from chairs to tables, couch and every accessory has been carefully chosen by our clients, who spent many days going round Paris’ flee market to find genuine 50’s pieces.

The facade of the store is probably our favorite feature. It is entirely made out of crocodile skin tiles from Rex Ceramich (Matouche collection). I must say we have had to fight for our choice for the facade, very edgy in a traditional neighborhood of Paris with its Haussmanian buildings, very hard with the Paris City Hall’s architecture department.

© David Cousin-Marsy

Last but not least, we round up our presentation of this project by the large entrance door, made out of plain oak and which is mounted on two pivots. It is recessed inside the shop in order to allow its opening without disturbing the flow of pedestrians in the street.

© David Cousin-Marsy

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "La Fabrique de Lunettes / Marc Ifrah Architecture" 14 Sep 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 17 Sep 2014. <>

1 comment

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Why do you have to notify there is an ‘intern’ in the project team? A bit to arrogant for my taste! We were all once intern.

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