Sezanne and Maison Marunouchi Opens at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi with Interiors Designed by André Fu
(London, June 2021)
Brought to life by André Fu Studio, Sézanne promises a singular blend of gastronomy and design, seamlessly woven together to engage the palate and the gaze alike. As the designer of MOTIF, the Hotel’s former French restaurant, Fu came to the project with a close knowledge of Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi as well as the city itself. Drawing on the boutique nature of the 57-key property, the designer has created an ambience that is intimate, subtle and deeply personalized.
“I wanted to reflect the ‘hidden gem’ sensibility of Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi,” explains the acclaimed architect. “My vision revolves around creating a duet of dining experiences that are set against the urbanity of its buzzling Tokyo Station neighbourhood. The mindset here is about cultivating a sense of escape from the city with two destinations that are highly contrasting and layered.”
The thoughtfully envisioned interiors have been designed to complement the culinary offerings. The dynamic, technique-driven French cuisine is crafted by Chef Daniel, who previously led Belon in Hong Kong into the ranks of Michelin as well as to the No. 4 spot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
“It has been a very personal project for Chef Daniel and me. There has been a high level of candid dialogue and creative exchange in the process of realizing this elegant dining venue,” says André. “The idea is to engage the senses, thus allowing Daniel’s layered yet pure cuisine to take centre stage.”
Drawing on his own multicultural background, Fu is ideally placed to adopt a nuanced approach bridging European principles of beauty and Eastern qualities, traditions and modernity for the design of Sézanne, and a compelling hybrid aesthetic unfolds throughout.
Quiet elegance meets André’s signature language of ‘relaxed luxury’. Reflecting the dynamic European cuisine, the journey begins with a welcoming salon that invites intimate conversations and cosy interactions, followed by a main dining area that is fresh, contemporary and tactile.
For the lounge salon, Fu has added French-style panelling and vintage-inspired velvet chairs from his own André Fu Living collection, allowing visitors to gaze out at the most quintessential of Tokyo views – gliding high-speed Shinkansen trains and the city skyline beyond. The space features lamps by Hervé Van Der Straeten, a French artisan, lining the walls. “The Lounge is a vital part of the dining journey,” notes André. “This is where guests will meet for early drinks, post-dinner desserts and nightcaps. A sculptural artwork by British artist Annie Morris, named Stack 8, occupies a prominent position within the Lounge, adding a colourful point of focus.
In the main dining area, a sense of intimacy prevails. The interior features impeccable yet understated craftsmanship, expressed through a carefully considered range of materials and subtle design details. A bespoke hand-tufted silver-grey carpet runs throughout the space, which combines Art Deco motifs with the artistry of sand patterns found in Japanese Zen gardens. Instantly, the interior evokes a sense of lushness and quietude – an intriguing contrast to the glittering city panoramas offered by floor-to-ceiling windows. On the walls, Fu has used eucalyptus wood juxtaposed with mud paint – “an artisanal Japanese material that evokes a sense of wabi-sabi.” French panels in grey eucalyptus wood and French Lelièvre silk lining adorn the dining room – they appear to fold and unfold, creating intimate sections for each dining setting.
At the centre of the restaurant is a prominent decanter station, a solid Carrara marble island counter carved into an organic sculptural form. There will also be a floral installation by Nicolai Bergmann, changing seasonally, and combining western artistry with Japanese ikebana techniques.
To complement Sézanne’s contemporary setting, Fu has employed airy hues and a selection of bespoke lighting in the design of the space, as well as using a refined colour palette - a blend of mineral blues, warm greys and dusty pinks. The effervescent colours flow into curvilinear silhouettes, providing a visual experience that is fresh and inviting.
Decorative pendants also adorn the dining room – crafted out of solid cast textured bronze and translucent cloud glass. Fu comments: “The unique bloom glass shades are created through a painstaking process of design development. I hope each object within the dining room evokes a soft yet sculptural quality,”.
For the private dining room - a pièce de résistance of the space, Fu has designed this to overlook a satellite kitchen, which will host an interactive Chef’s Table. Inspired by the outlines of French windows, Fu has created a key highlight in the form of the feature show kitchen at the rear of the dining room. Offering diners an intriguing window into the culinary world of Chef Daniel, it permits a strong visual connection with the cookery process from the dining room itself.
Across from Sézanne, Fu has created Maison Marunouchi – a contemporary and dynamic dining experience for the everyday. In contrast to Sézanne, Maison Marunouchi is a French bistro, evoking a lively, energetic spirit.
Employing a rich and vibrant palette of tangerine orange, olive green and rattan textures, the uplifting bistro is furnished with authentic Thonet chairs and bespoke bronze tables to evoke a modern Parisian flair. Lush planting has also been introduced to accentuate this lifestyle escape with Tokyo Station’s heritage scenic view as a backdrop.
Message from the General Manager:
“Led by Chef Daniel and André, our team has put together something very special for Tokyo’s gastronomes,” says Charles Fisher, General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi. “There is a rare thematic unity across the entire dining journey, from menus and tableware to seating and artwork. There has been extraordinary attentiveness to detail, a fluid give and take of ideas, throughout this collaborative process. The result is a culinary adventure that feels as refined as it is approachable.”
About André Fu Studio
ANDRÉ FU STUDIO is an internationally acclaimed design studio in Hong Kong, founded by interior architect André Fu.
With an extensive portfolio of projects throughout Asia and Europe, the studio has revolutionized the concept of modern luxury with a series of projects that reflect Fu’s signature artistic perspective and timeless sensibility.
A trained architect, Fu’s projects span scales and typologies, continuously bridging the gap between cultures, and drawing as naturally on European principles of beauty as from Oriental qualities, traditions and modernity.
His seemingly effortless creations range from a unique furniture collaboration with Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades to contemporary art galleries in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai. He has designed interiors for major hotels and restaurants around the world including Villa La Coste in Provence, Hong Kong’s Upper House Hotel and the St Regis, The Berkeley London, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, as well as Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto. Current commissions include a key commission for London’s iconic Claridge’s hotel.
In 2019, he successfully launched André Fu Living (AFL) with a holistic collection of lifestyle products that reflect his signature modern style. Earlier this year, the Upper House unveiled the André Fu Suite, a luxury suite offering guests the experience of a private residence featuring pieces from the André Fu Living Collection.
André Fu holds a Masters in Architecture from Cambridge University. In 2016, he was named Designer of the Year for Maison & Objet Asia, and was honoured in Wallpaper*s list of ‘Top 20 Interior Designers’. In 2019, Elle Décor China has named André as “Interior Designer of The Year”.