The concept behind Restaurant O’Noir is to have patrons dine in complete darkness. Without sight, the remaining senses are heightened to fully savour the smell and taste of food. The design challenge was to come up with economic solutions and to alter the structure of some of the floor levels to create rooms that were dark, but also safe. Focusing on the sensory experience, the designers honed in on the qualities of comfort, relaxation, interaction and a stimulating visual ambiance. The use of rustic wooden beams brings a bold and whimsical look to the space. While symbolizing patterns of braille, these beams also appeal to a spirit of openness by evoking age and imperfection, according to the Japanese aesthetic and spiritual principles of wabi-sabi. The jury noted the coherence of the project with its vocation in terms of space, materials, texture, appropriate injections of red here and there and the use of black for a calming effect. For its renovation of the Restaurant O’Noir, L’Empreinte Design Artisanat was honoured with the Restaurant, 2,000 sq. ft. or less award.