Piet Boon ‘The Jane’
The Jane is Michelin-star chef Sergio Herman and chef Nick Bril’s new restaurant in Antwerp designed by Piet Boon. It is grand and sophisticated, contemporary and cool, and designed down to the finest detail, sparing nothing when it comes to material. In their words, it’s “fine dining meets rock ’n roll”.
Housed in what was the chapel of a former military hospital, the high-end restaurant has an immediately magical appeal; huge windows and high ceilings, the generous application of rich and natural materials, fine furniture and perfect details – it’s all there.
Where the original altar sat, for example, is now the kitchen, embraced by glass like ‘a modern shrine’ and on display for guests to watch the magic happen; the windows (designed by Studio Job) are inspired by the chapel’s original function and the old stained glass window, but taken to a very contemporary place, where obscure objects – foam spatulas, sunflowers, devils, skulls, babies, Jesus on the cross, dice, apple cores, wrenches, ice cream cones, a canon, croissants, penguins, trophies, gas masks and birthday cakes – celebrate the contemporary place to worship. In the centre of the restaurant is a 800 kilogram chandelier of over 150 lights, designed by the Beirut-based design studio PSLAB and impossible not to be impressed by.
For the tableware they’ve gone for a high quality bone white porcelain collection, designed by Piet Boon in collaboration with Belgian company SERAX, which combines functionality and design; for the floors they’ve saved the original pottery floor tiles; the tables are bold black circles; the seating, decadent pale green velvet armchairs; the bar upstairs a sold slab of marble.
It is these fantastic additions and use of materials that really bring The Jane into its own, turning what is an already incredible space into something new and exciting, whilst at the same time paying homage to what was. Rather than simply restore or change entirely, Piet Boon Studio and all those they’ve collaborated with have created a fusion of old and new and a space that has a serious amount of energy and style.