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Gaelle Le Boulicaut Photographe

Cali Uptown

Cali Uptown is a sky-blue glimpse into the Paris cityscape that heralds a trendy yet informal and cosy venue. The design project by Los Angeles-based UNLTD Studio includes the replacement of the interior and façade of a 2,066 square metre space in an early 20th century building with art nouveau influences, located in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. UNLTD translated the client’s vision of a vibrant design for the restaurant with a strong connection to the atmosphere and lifestyle that inspired the Southern California modernist design movement. The restaurant’s exterior is distinguished by its brick façade, arranged in a modernist geometric pattern and painted a brilliant white. The entrance is flanked by peacock blue columns. The interior architecture is minimalist, with the building’s structural columns stripped to expose light-coloured stone, against which the brightly coloured upholstery and loose accessories stand out.

The flood of natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows and a newly installed skylight is punctuated by glass globe pendants of various sizes, with small decorative globes illuminating the bar and large globes above the window seats. Patterns inspired by mid-century desert architecture can be seen throughout the space in the form of concrete screens, as well as light, sand-coloured bricks reflecting the building’s exterior. The horseshoe-shaped bar forms the energetic core of the space and is defined by an internally lit soffit that emits warm light through translucent acrylic. The bar’s fixed stools, reminiscent of diners on the street, are positioned against a sage-coloured linoleum façade, where they are paired with a concrete footrest that runs the length of the bar. Seating in the main dining room is varied and eclectic, the essence of simplicity.

Tables purchased from American restaurant supply shops feature laminate tops, chrome bands and ivy-green vinyl-covered booths, all inspired by the colours of classic cars that contribute to the space’s air of authenticity. A huge skylight has been installed above an additional seating area, consisting of a long L-shaped banquette and cheerful yellow chairs, which combine to create the feeling of al fresco dining. The bright and inviting space is finished with lush plant life that reinforces the connection to the outdoors and the relaxed Southern California vernacular. A venue that fits into the Parisian nightlife but where you can breathe in the atmosphere of American diners, the result of Studio UNLTD’s creative and multifaceted approach that drives all its projects forward. 

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Project: Cali Uptown
Design project: Studio UNLTD
Year: 2021
Photo: Le Boulicaut Photographe