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A’maree’s in Newport Beach, California by Paul Davis Architects
April 14th, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Paul Davis Architects
The Paul Davis Architects-led transformation of an iconic, modernist waterfront structure in Newport Beach, CA, has wowed high-fashion shoppers and won a 2011 Preservation Design Award for Rehabilitation from the California Preservation Foundation (CPF).
“A’maree’s was brought back in marvelous style,” noted the CPF Preservation Design Awards jury. “This is a beautiful building that uplifts the spirit.”
Paul Davis Architects restored the local landmark’s modern elegance while creating a new flagship location for A’maree’s, a high-end fashion boutique known for carrying cutting-edge labels. “It was extremely gratifying to be involved in the rebirth of this neglected modernist landmark,” said Paul Davis, AIA, principal of Paul Davis Architects. “This structure has a long history as a hub of Newport Beach social life and we hope that its new incarnation as A’maree’s will continue that tradition. Being recognized by the California Preservation Foundation for our team’s contribution to its preservation and promising future is truly a great honor. ”
The temple-like, white scallop-edged pavilion was originally designed by architects Ladd & Kelsey for the glamorous Stuft Shirt restaurant, which opened in 1961. After a series of restaurant tenants, the distinctive structure sat vacant for some 13 years. Paul Davis Architects transformed this regional architectural classic from white elephant to a vibrant space for upscale shopping by first stripping out remnants of past restaurants to bring back its modernist elegance and simplicity. Structural upgrades brought the building to current code, while a new all-glass entry is based on the original architect’s never-before-realized design.
The open floor plan of the main sales floor—formerly the restaurant dining room—is both functional and flexible for the store’s ever-changing inventory. Minimalist display fixtures designed by Paul Davis Architects combine with an eclectic array of merchandising elements from the owners’ collection. The former kitchen area was transformed into a comfortable, welcoming space where shoppers and salespeople are encouraged to mingle near the dressing rooms. In contrast to the bright-white sales floor, this back-of-house area maintains its natural-finished raw concrete structure and exposed steel beams and utilities. A’maree’s resulting design is a rhythmic partnership between a burnished industrial feeling and elegance rooted in classic modernity that, fittingly, recalls an idealized old-world bazaar.
Paul Davis Architects (PDA) is a full-service, Los Angeles-based design firm that bases its practice on the belief that architecture—when carried out with insight, deep experience, and near-obsessive care—contributes to the quality of daily life like few other human activities. Although rooted in a speculative, arts-based design culture, PDA’s working method emphasizes the business of collaboration with clients, consultants, and the broader community as the process through which buildings of enduring significance are created. The firm and its personnel are experienced in a broad range of commercial and residential project types, including new modern single-family homes, historic renovations, multi-family building interior and shell work, retail stores, restaurants, and corporate facilities with institutional or cultural components. Firm founder Paul Davis, AIA, has been a licensed architect since 1998. He earned his Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Virginia .
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