Location: Bastille, Paris
Year: 2015 Spring
Area: 85 Sqm
Project began with an email from Paris. The bartender / entrepreneur Amaury Guyot and chef Taku Sekine came to us with a potential location, an idea to have a “pairing system” where each course of the nightly tasting menu is served with different cocktails, and the name of the restaurant, taken after the wise & intelligent master of the wilderness from the 1975 Soviet-Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa – Dersou Ouzala.
Amaury and Taku – celebrated figures in the Paris scene as owner / bartender of Sherry Butt and chef of culinary gems like Beige, Fish and Saturne respectively – had a vision of a restaurant that is open to eclectic influences and bouts of inspiration.
In many ways, being involved in the creation of Dersou became a poignant experience for DAIKEI MILLS. Throughout the project, Amaury and Taku gave us full confidence in providing the disign direction, and be inspired to adapt our ideas on-site.
Once we saw the over-century-old site near Bastille, we had an idea of making full use of the inherent layers of history.
Each of us (including Amaury and Taku) took a chisel to the wall, taking small chunks at a time to reveal the various layers of site’s history, thus spawning the now-trademark wall.
The bench, floorboard and the counter is connected with the use of single wood material. The locally sourced, 32-millimeter-thick wood has a texture & presence befitting the venerable feel of the space.
Metal backrest that runs besides the long bench is an “insterted element” that quietly punctuate the space that is otherwise filled with products of natural occurrence & chance.
With Dersou, we feel that we were able to achieve a kind of space we aspire to – one that feels “undesigned,” making the most of site’s inherent strength, without adding unnecessary frills.
We’re excited to hear that the restaurant is enjoying a great success, being loved by patrons and critics alike – such as being named the “Best Restaurant” by Le Fooding’s 2016 Award.