PhotographsCourtesy of patrick norguet
McDonald's has put Patrick Norguet in charge of designing the new architectural identity for its restaurants in France. A project which is exciting in terms of its scope as well as in its technical and sociological constraints since it concerned McDonald's returning to its founding myth: familial fast food. If the brand was originally founded on the family, its image has little by little slid towards a more urban and adolescent tone. A return therefore to McDo’s DNA with this new interior design that Patrick Norguet, literally and figuratively, matches with getting back to roots.
The plant metaphor, with its branching development, this root common to the brand and to the family, is transformed here into an architecture which is transversal and expansive: birch plywood takes root and branches out in the restaurant in order to create areas, functions and moods for different social requirements without compartmentalizing.
This organic and functional furniture/architecture offers several possibilities, several eating choices from eating standing up for lone teenagers, alcoves providing privacy to family table service, a small revolution at Mc Donald’s with digital control terminals integrated into the base and distributed throughout the restaurant. Henceforth, a mother can settle with her offspring at a table, order from a nearby terminal and wait for the meals to be brought to the table.
Patrick Norguet’s design, which as always hits the spot, uses contemporary white which he counterbalances with fun colours without falling for "toy" conventions like for example the storage elements with the painted metal boxes included in the base template. The luminous ambiance and the quality of the acoustics are exceptionally meticulous and offer customers a comfort which is rare today, whilst the quest for a certain radical nature is revealed through the choice of materials (plywood, sheet metal, concrete, etc.), tested in conditions of heavy passage to respond to the constraints of such a popular restaurant.
The designer is using his "Still" metal chair for Lapalma for the seats with a new high stool version specially designed for the occasion. The ceramic floor also designed by Patrick Norguet for Lea Ceramica immediately lends a distinctive tone to the venue. These huge, ultra-slim 2 metre slabs break with usual visual conventions: warm and graphic without being carpet, they change our habits in terms of flooring to create a brand new typology.
Piloted at the start of the year in the Villefranche-de-Lauragais restaurant 40 km from Toulouse, the concept was immediately appealing and spoke volumes. 6 restaurants are currently in the pipeline throughout France.