Fab 40: Nomiya Restaurant, Paris
Talk about a moveable feast – a 24-ton restaurant has dropped out of the sky onto the Palais de Tokyo museum, facing the Eiffel Tower. The squatter is named Nomiya, after the intimate watering holes that proliferate throughout Tokyo, and it will be here until next July.
Actually, ’it’s not a restaurant,’ points out the French artist Laurent Grasso who, with his architect brother, designed the glass and perforated aluminum box that glows purple after dark. ’It’s something indefinable – a work of art, an experience.’
Nonetheless, twice each day, the thing acts like a restaurant, where a dozen people, friends and strangers, gather at a communal table to eat a no-choice, semi-experimental meal and take in the awesome view. At other times it acts like an art installation, open to afternoon tours. It’s also a marketing gimmick, for the appliance maker Electrolux. Whatever its function, this oddity has become a part of the Paris landscape, and one can’t help hoping it decides to stay.