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Ar. Paola Navone Breathes Image-altering Freshness into Parisian McDonald’s Restaurant!

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on March 20, 2019 at 07:40 PM

Italian architect Paola Navone has carved out a niche for herself in the world of international décor with her ability to infuse an uncanny, magnetic stylistic freshness into every space she deigns to design. She was recently commissioned to work her magic on an old outlet of the McDonald’s fast-food chain in Paris, and has she delivered!! Not only has the restaurant completely broken away from franchise’s mechanical assembly-line visuals, it breathes a fresh, warm and inviting country-cottage air in its artistic new avatar.

© Courtesy of internet resources

The McDonald’s outlet in question, located in the Parisian district of Austerlitz, was opened in 1989 and has served since as a popular joint. As the occasion for a décor overhaul arose, the management’s desire to infuse some fresh aesthetic into the space that would alter it attractively lead them to Paola Navone, the Italian décor specialist. What Paola has been able to achieve through this collaboration is indeed brilliant, and she does credit the McDonald’s management considerably for this successful makeover by having the patience and open-mindedness for radical ideas. 

The result is so revolutionary that it is impossible to recognise the brand or the franchise in the setup but for the logo at the entrance and some fonts used in signboards that, being inextricably associated since years, serve as a giveaway. For starters, the colour palette is completely reversed from pop reds and yellows to cool blues, greys and white, occasionally punctuated by a burnt sienna shade of brown. None of the trademark McD furnishings so industrially repeated in all outlets of the chain seem to have been retained save for the die-cast steel tables supported on single steel post supports. And yet, the outlet retains the brand’s core values of the inviting homely vibes of fun, friends and family – in fact, these are even more enhanced by Navone’s artistic treatment.

The primarily white box of the interior invokes the warm living rooms from children’s storybooks with table tops and chairs of varying shapes and sizes adorned in different colours and textures. One can almost visualise Goldilocks trying out the different chairs here to find her perfect fit! It was, in fact, Navone’s aim to offer customers a choice of seats to match with their comfort. She has intended to treat the restaurant like a warm home with different rooms and corners inhabited and personalised by different individuals.

The surfaces of table tops look like kids have been painting waterscapes on them. These white backgrounds with aquatic blue water-colour hues of waves splashed across are in fact digitally printed laminates which were customised for the project. Similar customisation brought the fun printed textured fabric of chair and couch seats to life. The painted steel bars and angles that run across the space, often tying up at four corners above a table reminiscing a basic poster bed or simply used for the cords of the series of bulb lights to coil around, add to the country-cottage like feel. 

Navone has continued in the same vein to enhance the warm and playful vibes further by applying wiggly ended blue and burnt sienna borders to windows, sign-boards and even the columns holding up the fancily curved stairs to the upper level. Stairs and doorways get framed with an alternating black-and-white block pattern reminiscent of stone masonry patterns bordering old world cottage windows. The flooring shaded grey strip tiles invokes the rough surfaces of unpolished stone floors. A screen with circular punctures finds playful reflection in some parts of the ceiling and walls where its missing circles seem to be glued. 

But it was no easy process to make this warm and playful bed-time story setting a successful restaurant space. The greatest challenge that the designers claim to have faced is in matching the artisanal feel of the concept with the high precision technical specifications required by the franchise. Bridging this art-and-tech gap and bringing the décor to fruition took three whole years, at the end of which a lovely, aqua-fresh McDonald outlet was ready to woo its customers.

So, it’s all thanks to bold and adventurous designers like Paola Navone who dare to look beyond established norms and challenge the environment as well as themselves who change the rules of the game. That’s what it takes to usher in even the littlest bit of freshness of ideas into this world of ideological entrenchments.

Designer : Paola Navone
Photography :internet resources

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