The design is inspired by the history of the Hollywood Blvd. and Cahuenga site, which was formerly the estate of Paul Delongpre, and the wood-paneled “old Hollywood” interior of the Musso & Frank Grill, just west of the Intelligentsia location. DeLongpre was an artist famous for his paintings of flowers on neutral backgrounds, and his mansion was situated in expansive flower gardens on the site. We looked at old postcards and images of the fields of flowers on the property, and came to the idea of using colored mosaic tiles as abstract poppy fields. At the same time we looked at DeLongpre’s paintings, to bring something of his spirit into the space. The mosaic tiles became the vaulted ceiling, and the paintings inspires the stenciled wall painting in the outdoor entry space.
While the space is rich in texture, we kept its organization very simple. The space is entered through an outdoor patio lined with terrazzo benches with integral flower beds. The flower motif wall graphic covers the west wall of the patio, and custom recessed lighting adorns the ceiling. Inside the coffee shop, the interior walls are paneled in dark stained wood paneling, accented by quilted stainless steel and fluted mirrors. The coffee bar is a 30 ft. long island block clad in terrazzo, and the seating is arranged like a subway car parallel to the bar.
The interior ceiling presented an interesting challenge. The building’s roof is supported by a grid of steel beams that we had to work around. The ceiling structure was fairly high between the beams, so we wanted to capture this height. We developed a grid of arched vaults between the beams, and used colored random mosaic tiles to clad the vaults. Mirrors are used to further increase the volume of the space –the tiled vaults seem to extend beyond the walls. We developed custom bronze light fixtures with a company in Seattle to simultaneously up-light the vaults and illuminate the space below.
Photo Credit © Benny Chan | fotoworks