Star Architect Rudy Ricciotti Redesigns the Petit Nice, Marseille

Marseille, France
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Le Petit Nice, Marseille

Third-generation chef Gérald Passédat, who holds three Michelin stars, is renowned as an ambassador of the Mediterranean-- celebrating its cuisine and culture. (Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert sampled the chef’s bouillabaisse in season six of “Parts Unknown.”) His restaurant, Le Petit Nice Passédat has an incredible perch over the sea, just minutes from the bustle of Marseille. Attached to the restaurant is a small hotel of just 16 rooms.

Last year Passédat approached his artist-friends, the architect Rudy Ricciotti (who was the mastermind behind the city’s MUCEM project) and the painter Gérard Traquandi, to give the hotel a makeover. The idea? To open up the rooms—their sea views and light-filled space—so that guests can feel immersed in the Mediterranean landscape. The bed and desk now face directly towards the Mediterranean, and the decor takes its inspiration from the surrounding landscape; for example, the marbled stone floor conjures the nearby Calanques (the rugged, fjord-like inlets in gleaming limestone). Gérard Traquandi painted monumental works-- scenes from nature—directly on the guestroom walls.

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