Les Grandes Tables restaurant made using recycled shipping containers

The Concept:

Shipping containers have been put to good use by Jean Nouvel, as he has crafted a clean and green restaurant concept, named Les Grandes Tables, using them. The concept has come up on Seguin Island situated in Western Paris.

The eco-friendly plan by Jean is quite massive and will bring commerce, culture and green spaces on a single platform for people to relish. The awesome concept will comprise of hotels, cinemas, artist studios, music halls and museums, which will offer a variety of activities under one roof.

Les Grandes Tables was completed recently as part of the first phase and comes draped in environment-friendly traits. The 1000 square foot restaurant comprises of a timber framed structure that has been caked with glass. The use of glass will let sunlight kiss the inside of the design and encourage natural light to flow freely.

Salvaged shipping containers have been used to make this attention-grabbing design, which will help eco-warriors dine sans any regrets. It has a minimalistic look and also consists of an agricultural greenhouse. This will offer fresh vegetables and will also be a sight for striking plants.

Les Grandes Tables restaurant


Encompassed in glass, the timber frame structure of the building makes it an obvious choice for diners to dine in. The cargo containers have been placed strategically, ensuring that people inside get maximum light, air and of course, the best French cuisines to enjoy.

Flanked by a seasonal garden on one side and a greenhouse on the other, the restaurant sets forth tradition along with a soothing ambiance for everyone around. The container was discarded by car manufacturer Renault some 20 years ago and it has now been tastefully decorated to cater to the modern diners’ whims and fancies.

Serving authentic French food is the famous French Chef, Arnaud Daguin. Delight yourself with traditional, mouth watering delicacies while Les Grandes Tables soothes your nerves and delights everyone.

The restaurant plays host to a number of Parisians all throughout the year. As per Jean Nouvel, if everything goes well, he would revolutionize the whole island and make it a tourist spot to attract crowds.

Eco Credentials:

Jean made it a point to make his restaurant as environment friendly as possible. He has made use of a discarded ship container to seat his customers. Sprucing up this make shift building with some glass, windows, and suspended bare bones, Jean Nouvel was able to rig up a comfortable dining place.

As he wants nothing but the best for everyone who come to enjoy his restaurant’s food and facilities, he has hired the famous French chef who prepares his amazing culinary delights with the vegetables grown in the restaurant’s garden. The buck, however, does not stop here. Nouvel has also ensured to put a greenhouse in place so that there would never be a shortage in the supply of fresh vegetables for his customers and clients alike.His revolutionary idea has enabled one and all to enjoy the magnificent, finger licking creations by the chef, and of course, to enjoy nature in its originality.


Seguin Island, which has often been looked down upon by fellow Parisians is up for a changed outlook, all thanks to designer Jean Nouvel. Not only has he added a bit of glamour to the wrecked image, but has also thought of lifting up the island’s image as a place of tourist attraction.

With no doubts lurking in the mind about the feasibility of the project, he has big plans for the island’s future. As of now, only the restaurant has been finished in order to cater to meetings, parties, etc. However, in the coming two years, that is by 2013, Nouvel has plans to create an ambiance where practically everyone would be able to revel in nature’s lap. Having said this, it is to be noted that the designer’s project has set the expectations rolling for one and all.


1. Starbucks Drive Through:

Starbucks Drive Thru

Starbucks, the famous coffee brand has made a small endeavour to make a big difference when it comes to building strategically. Tukwila in Washington has been appraised with a coffee house that has been made using nothing but shipping containers.

The drive-through has been made according to LEED building standards. This has been designed by resident Starbucks architects and encourages the creation of clean and green buildings just to bring down the operational cost and energy use. Enjoy coffee in Starbucks’ new building ávatar.

2. Seattle’s Firestation 30:

Seattle’s Firestation

Seattle’s Firestation 30 is an eco-friendly building when it comes to design and utility as well as facility. Built on the intersection of Rainier Avenue and Mt. Baker neighborhood, the firestation acts like the best intermediary on the cross junction.

Read on to find what makes this building environment friendly. The haven has been fitted with clerestory windows, skylights, north glazing, sun shading devices, etc. If you wonder what are the benefits of all these, it’s quite simple. The whole place makes use of natural lighting to light up the interiors, thereby creating a very balanced atmosphere for the occupants.

To further this point, the building is constructed out of a lightweight wooden frame, sheet metal skin, and an elevated structural slab which is further supported by an auger cast pile system. The interiors derive their heating and cooling by a geothermal heat pump. The building epitomizes and accentuates the term ‘eco-friendly’ in the perfect way.

3. Acorn House:

Acorn House

London got its first sustainable restaurant in the form of Acron House. This will make restaurants slip into the eco-friendly slot and will give an all new meaning to the way people dine.

Acorn House will encourage composting and recycling of waste materials. It will use seasonal as well as local ingredients to prepare dishes, which will bring down CO2 emission and will also save precious resources. The restaurant will encourage healthy eating and will have fresh seasonal menus. It will support organics and fair-trade and will discourage industrial farming. Even the boxes in which ingredients are supplied will be sent back so that the suppliers can reuse them.

4. Paul Morgan Trunk House Springs:

Paul Morgan Trunk House

Situated right in the midst of a rolling forest in Victoria’s central highlands, the Trunk House by Paul Morgan Architects is a piece of vintage art and beauty. Made from salvaged tree forks for support, cured wooden pieces, and natural material sourced from the surrounding areas itself, the Trunk House spells out beauty and eco friendliness in every breath.

If the exteriors have you dazed, then wait till you lay your eyes on the interiors. All the furniture inside are designed as part of the house and the interior is as nice and dainty as the exteriors. The sitting room has been fixed with elegant sliding glass doors, an overhanging roof to protect from rain, and the natural surroundings to provide you great company .

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