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A look inside Bisou: Parisian elegance meets Middle Eastern flair

Tristan Du Plessis details the atypical fusion between French architecture and Middle Eastern charm at Bisou, Dubai’s latest culinary destination

A look inside Bisou: Parisian elegance meets Middle Eastern flair

Dubai, renowned for its dynamic urban landscape, towering skyscrapers, and diverse cultural tapestry has increasingly become a global epicentre for culinary exploration. Amidst this culinary renaissance, a notable trend has emerged with the influx of international restaurants, each boasting its own distinctive ambience and aesthetic.

Among these culinary gems, one establishment stands out as a beacon of gastronomic and design mastery: the newly unveiled Parisian-inspired fine dining venue located within the iconic Dubai Opera. Situated in the heart of the city, Dubai Opera not only hosts world-class performances but also serves as the backdrop for a burgeoning culinary scene.

Diving deeper into Bisou’s architecture and design, CW Property Middle East exclusively chatted with award-winning Interior Architect, Tristan Du Plessis who gave us a glimpse of what inspired him and his team to create a sensory masterpiece.

Award-winning Interior Architect, Tristan Du Plessis

Can you describe the process of translating the concept of combining French classics and Middle Eastern spirit into the interior design of Bisou?

The process began with extensive research into both French and Middle Eastern design aesthetics, architecture, and cultural elements. We aimed to blend the timeless elegance of French classics with the vibrant and exotic elements of Middle Eastern culture. This involved studying architectural motifs, patterns, and colour palettes prominent in both regions.

The challenge lay in finding harmony between seemingly contrasting styles while maintaining authenticity and respect for each tradition. We incorporated elements like intricate tile work, ornate wood carvings, and rich textiles to bridge the two worlds seamlessly.

How did you ensure that the warm and spacious interiors of Bisou evoke the romantic ambience of France while still being welcoming to guests?

To achieve this delicate balance, we focused on three key aspects: lighting, layout, and colour scheme. Soft, warm lighting fixtures were strategically placed to cast a romantic glow without overpowering the space. The layout was designed to allow for ample space between tables, enhancing the sense of openness while still fostering intimacy.

As for the colour scheme, we opted for muted tones of cream, taupe, and blush, accented with pops of jewel tones inspired by Middle Eastern hues, to evoke a cosy yet sophisticated atmosphere reminiscent of a French bistro.

Indulge in a feast for the senses at Bisou

What was the thought process behind selecting specific materials, colours, and textures?

Each element was chosen with the theme and concept of Bisou in mind. We selected luxurious materials such as marble, brass, and velvet to evoke elegance and opulence. Earthy tones and natural textures like wood and stone were incorporated to ground the space and add warmth. The colour palette was carefully curated to reflect both French and Middle Eastern influences, with a focus on creating a harmonious fusion of the two.

How did you collaborate with Chef Vladimir Chistyakov and Chef Alexander Loshinin to ensure that the interior design complements and enhances the culinary experience?

Our collaboration with Chef Vladimir Chistyakov and Chef Alexander Loshinin was crucial in ensuring that the interior design complemented the culinary experience at Bisou. We worked closely with them to understand their vision for the restaurant and how they wanted the atmosphere to enhance the dining experience. This involved incorporating elements such as open kitchen views, chef’s tables, and wine displays seamlessly into the design to showcase their culinary expertise and create a cohesive and immersive dining environment.

Intricate tile work and ornate wood carvings create a perfect backdrop for a delightful dining experience

How did you integrate storytelling elements into the design of the bar to create a unique and immersive experience for guests?

The design of the bar was conceived as a focal point where guests could not only enjoy expertly crafted cocktails but also immerse themselves in the narrative of the space. We incorporated elements of French and Middle Eastern folklore and mythology into the bar’s design, such as intricate tile patterns depicting tales of love and adventure, and custom-made art pieces inspired by iconic literary works from both cultures. These storytelling elements added depth and intrigue to the design, inviting guests to engage with the space on a deeper level.

How do you balance functionality with aesthetics in designing a space like Bisou, where the focus is on creating an elegant and welcoming atmosphere for guests?

In designing Bisou, we prioritised creating a space that not only looked beautiful but also functioned seamlessly for both guests and staff. This involved careful consideration of layout, traffic flow, and ergonomics to ensure optimal use of space without compromising on comfort or efficiency.

For example, seating arrangements were designed to maximise capacity while still allowing for ease of movement, and durable yet stylish materials were selected for furnishings to withstand the rigours of daily use while maintaining aesthetic appeal.

Can you share any memorable moments or experiences from the design process of Bisou that particularly stood out?

One particularly memorable moment was the unveiling of the custom-designed chandelier in the main dining area. It was inspired by the intricate patterns found in both French and Middle Eastern architecture and took months of collaboration with local artisans to bring to life.

Seeing it installed and illuminated for the first time was truly magical and marked a significant milestone in the realisation of our vision for Bisou. Another standout moment was the final walkthrough with the chefs before the grand opening, seeing their excitement and satisfaction with how the design complemented their culinary creations was incredibly rewarding and affirmed the success of our collaborative efforts.