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October 2013
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Le Saint-James hotel

From left to right and top to bottom, Photos 1 and 2 : Vineyard and exterior of the hotel, 3: Rooms , 4, 5 and 6 : Restaurant and view from the restaurant

The Garonne stretches lazily at the feet of Bouliac, a small village of the left bank and home to The Saint-James. Rooms and suites designed by Jean Nouvel, and gourmet cuisine orchestrated by chef Nicolas Magie, define this architectural folly. Granted the address is not new, but magic continues to occur here. Created from the inspiration of Chef Jean-Marie Amat – who is now installed on the other side of the Garonne in Lormon – the establishment has lost none of its magic. To transform this old tavern, Jean Nouvel designed four pavilions, inspired by old tobacco barns (a characteristic of the area), and covered them with a rusty mesh wire which surprises whilst still integrating perfectly with the landscape. Connected by a gallery which hosts art exhibitions throughout the year, these pavilions recreate the topography of a village, built around the restaurant at the center. The light-filled rooms and suites offer panoramic views of Bordeaux and the Garonne, with the vineyard in the foreground. Clean lines and raw materials dominate here for an overall comforting design.


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