Mathieu Lehanneur designs business class lounge for Air France
With each passing year, airports around the world have become increasingly overcrowded, overwhelming in the mindless crush of harried passengers jammed into corridors and spaces that were never designed to accommodate such numbers.
In our experience, the best antidote is a stiff pre-boarding drink. For passengers fortunate enough to be blessed with upper-tier miles and lounge access, the options don’t come any swankier than the newly minted Le Balcon. Located in Air France’s Business Class Lounge at Charles de Gaulle, the 160 sqm bar is the work of French designer Mathieu Lehanneur who literally draws in the exterior spectacle of planes landing and taking off by lining the ceiling edges with gilt mirrors that are stippled like the keys of a giant piano to create what he describes as a space ‘suspended between heaven and earth’.
Hyperbole aside, the effect is one of cloistered exclusivity, an experience that Lehanneur reinforces with capsule banquettes which encircle both the room and the central white marble-topped bar. Lined with plush blue velvet – and accessorised with a pedestal side table and connectivity – these were apparently inspired by theatre box-seats and offer a sense of quiet privacy we imagine passengers continue to cling to as they trudge to the boarding gate.
Hall L Terminal 2E
Charles de Gaulle International Airport
Daven Wu is the Singapore Editor at Wallpaper*. A former corporate lawyer, he has been covering Singapore and the neighbouring South-East Asian region since 1999, writing extensively about architecture, design, and travel for both the magazine and website. He is also the City Editor for the Phaidon Wallpaper* City Guide to Singapore.
Last chance to see: Sharjah Biennial 15, ‘Thinking Historically in the Present’
Built on the vision of late curator Okwui Enwezor, the Sharjah Biennial 15: ‘Thinking Historically in the Present’ offers a critical reframing of postcolonial narratives through major new commissions
By Amah-Rose Abrams • Published
For London Gallery Weekend 2023, the mood is hardcore
With London Gallery Weekend 2023 almost upon us (2 – 4 June), here’s our list of must-see art exhibitions
By Harriet Lloyd-Smith • Published
Birkenstock celebrates its most memorable styles with colourful capsule (and matching socks)
Birkenstock marks the 40th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of the Gizeh, Arizona and Madrid sandals, respectively, with limited-edition versions
By Jack Moss • Published