Les Haras de Strasbourg breathed new life into the 18th century buildings of Louis XV’s stud farm, turning the stables – with their 45-foot high ceilings – into a spectacular new brasserie and creating a 55-room boutique hotel in the opposite wing of the building. Following a three-year renovation project, Les Haras opened in France at the end of 2013.
Who designed Les Haras?
Architects Denu et Paradon were responsible for restoring the structure and envelope of the building, while interior designer Patrick Jouin and architect Sanjit Manku, of Jouin Manku, were commissioned to renovate the interiors of the pink sandstone royal stables and the wing on the opposite side of the courtyard, which had previously been quarters for officers and grooms, a blacksmith’s forge, with additional space for indoor and outdoor riding rings.
What were the challenges?
Working on such a historic and monumental site, Jouin Manku decided not to interfere too much with the building and instead to take a more minimalist approach, with a limited palette of raw and natural materials such as blackened raw steel, patinated zinc, unfinished oak, beech, quartzite, brick, brass and saddle leather.
Subtle equestrian references define the site, from stitched saddle leather headboards in the bedrooms, to the wood and leather furniture in the restaurant, which evoke saddle stands. Colors are natural and neutral: brown, caramel, beige, gray, black, white. Jouin Manku designed and commissioned almost all of the furnishings, which have wonderful detailing, such as hand-stitched saddle leather.
Who was responsible for the restoration of Les Haras?
World renowned cancer-research organization IRCAD, at the neighbouring Strasbourg University Hospital, signed a lease in 2009 with the intention to convert the property into Les Haras de Strasbourg, which would incorporate a restaurant and a hotel. While Brasserie les Haras occupies the royal stables, Hôtel les Haras is in the opposite wing and can easily accommodate the 4,000 surgeons who visit IRCAD every year.
Which artists were commissioned?
Jouin Manku commissioned graphic artist Philippe David to tell the story of the project and to present the horse as an epic hero, depicted across a huge mural made from laser-cut blackened steel and sheets of sandblasted and screen printed glass, allowing glimpses of the raw brick and stone walls beneath.
Philippe David began his career as part of Philippe Starck’s team for Thomson and later set up his own studio. His work spans book design, exhibitions and graphic design and he also created the visual identity for Les Haras.
What are the unmissable features of the hotel?
The spiralling oak and blackened steel staircase at over six metres high has the monumentality of a sculpture and forms the focal point of the Brasserie, which spans a huge space of over 800 sq. metres. Echoing the original eighteenth century roof beams, which can be glimpsed a the top of the stairs, the staircase is made from uncoloured and untreated wood, which will be allowed to age naturally over time. It links the former royal stables on the ground floor to the new dining room on the first floor, in the former hayloft.
Describe the design of Brasserie Les Haras.
Three-starred Michelin chef Marc Haeberlin has overseen the design and concept of Brasserie Les Haras, which is a more experimental and informal dining space than his renowned family restaurant I’Auberge de l’Ill.
The circular free-standing kitchen and the ellipse-shaped bar help to define the huge open-plan space of the former royal stables, which span a space of over 800 sq. metres. Bespoke banquette seating was inspired by the idea of horse stalls, while the wood and leather furniture in the bar evokes saddle stands.
The main dining room was converted from the original hayloft on the first floor, which still has the dramatic eighteenth century oak roof beams. It is reached by climbing up the striking spiral staircase, designed by Jouin Manku.
What furniture was commissioned for the Brasserie?
The Brasserie was a chance to showcase the unique design talents of Jouin Manku, with custom-made dining chars, tables, stools and armchairs.
The wooden tables and stools in the bar, topped with hand-stitched saddle leather, were a unique commission from l’Arche du Bois. The Lou armchairs were also upholstered in natural leather and were designed by Patrick Jouin for Ligne Roset. The Charmed dining chairs, also designed by Patrick Jouin for Busnelli, were upholstered in a neutral fabric with natural beech legs, to fit with the simple colour palette of Les Haras.
Which room to book?
Choose an ‘authentique’ room, to sleep beneath 18th century timber beams. Subtle equestrian references continue into the rooms, with an oversized headboard of saddle leather wrapped around each bed, while the brushed brass taps in the bathroom recall traditional farm pumps.