Adventures and misadventures in France.

Posts tagged ‘design’

Le Nid

What do you get when you cross a passion for heights, alcohol, and birds? Graphic design artist Jean Jullien established Le Nid, the nest, a bird-themed bar located on the 32nd floor of the tallest structure in Nantes, the Tour Bretagne.

Access to Le Nid is facilitated only by one 8-person elevator, so we had the good fortune of waiting in a 45-minute line. The chairs and tables are designed to look like eggs, and the bar services is located in the body of an enormous heron, whose head and neck wrap along the edge of the bar. Bird-themed decor and overpriced drinks may not have been worth the wait, but on a clear day the city view exceeded our expectations. 360° of the surrounding urban landscape, and some of the surrounding buildings even had egg yolks painted on the roof!

Intrigued by the promise of a ‘secret ingredient’, I ordered the house cocktail. Yellow and white, it matched the egg-shaped tables and bars around us. My best guess is that the drink consists of pineapple juice, vanilla vodka, and whipped egg white. Bizarre but tasty.


Le Nid
Tour Bretagne, 32ème étage, Place de Bretagne, 44047 Nantes
02 40 35 36 49

Machines de l’Ile


The Machines de l’Ile is a mechanical art exposition based in Nantes. Their whimsical attractions are mostly plant and animal machines inspired by the works of Leonardo DaVinci and Jules Verne.

The Elephant

The Carousel of Marine Worlds

The Heron Tree

Set to open in 2019, the Arbre aux Herons is still in the conceptual phase, but it’s going to be a towering feat of engineering and design measuring 50 meters across and 45 meters high. The structure will be an immense tree-shaped garden, include moving animal machines large enough to carry people throughout the branches, a bar, and swinging herons circling above. The creators have many of their preliminary designs on display including scale models of the tree, prototypes of the animals, a greenhouse testing the durability of various plants, and a single 3-story “branch” walkway.

Design Progress


Max and his team of assistants (though I prefer to call them minions) have busy producing 3D images of the new office building, set to open by May 2014. The boss has been taking a lot of employee input into consideration. One level of the new building is going to feature a workout space, cafeteria, and recreation room with pool and foosball.


From Dingy to Dramatic

Following the design process for our company’s new building has been fascinating. Today, Max created a 3D model of how the building will look post-renovation.

Here is the original building, on the day the company purchased it :

Here is how the building looks now, after the exterior power-wash and interior demolition :

And here’s Max’s design of the finished project :


Update : BZar offered that the building may be inspired by the iconic Centre Pompidou museum of contemporary art in Paris, known for it’s exposed beams, utilities piping, and structural elements. I’m curious to hear other thoughts about this!

My last visit to the Centre Pompidou was way back in 2010 during my semester abroad, but I’d love to go back!

Chateaubriant in progress…

The demolition team has finally started tearing down the interior of our future company headquarters! Max has been the construction manager so far in addition to one of the head building designers! And yes, I’ve been assured that my future office will be pretty cool.


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