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Kala Bistro
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Dining Room
Dining Room
Banquette Details
Dining Room
Two-top beneath Eve Perry Painting
Dining Room
Bar
Bar
Bar
Floor Plan

Dining Room
Dining Room
Banquette Details
Dining Room
Two-top beneath Eve Perry Painting
Dining Room
Bar
Bar
Floor Plan

Kala Bistro, 2017
New Haven, CT

GRT Architects was asked to design an informal Mediterranean bistro for the owners of renowned New Haven Spanish restaurant Olea. From the outset we agreed this new restaurant, Kala, should have its own visual identity that speaks to a younger less formal crowd. Chef Manuel Romero is celebrated for exquisite Spanish cooking but wanted his new venture to be judged on its own merits and reflect his plan to serve affordable and inventive pan-Mediterranean cuisine. We proposed to evoke the approachable elegance of the classic Bistro, while nodding towards sunnier climes with chromatic references from the Calas, or cove beaches of Spain.

A deep blue watermark runs throughout the space, suggesting the sea and adding weight to an otherwise very bright and simple room. This color runs consistently through all surfaces including banquettes, as blue upholstery and two-tone curtains. Atop this watermark is a sand colored band, alternately a chair rail, drink shelf and banquette upholstery in Eclat Weave, designed by Anni Albers while she lived in Connecticut. We admire the confidence of twentieth century Italian designers who mix humor, beauty and function in equal measure. We explored that balance with the addition of light hearted cloud and wave motifs as overlays on top of a large brass mirror in the dining room and again in silhouette at the back bar. GRT also selected and commissioned artwork to compliment the space featuring large floral paintings on paper by Brooklyn–based artist Eve Perry and dayglo screenprints of caves by local artist Mark Williams.

The floor was laid out in contrasting blue and white penny tile, striped on the diagonal to evoke classic beach umbrellas. The bar is tiled in a glossy brick-format porcelain, with actual terracotta bricks mixed in, protruding from the face of the wall.  Floor and walls are grouted in a warm tan color that echoes the sand colored chair rail. We lit the space simply with naked opal and half-silvered bulbs, elevated by custom sockets in polished copper hung and from tan cloth cords.    

Experience tells us there is a line between a lively and deafening room.  Eager to avoid the look of panels screwed to the ceiling, we took a wholistic but budget minded approach to acoustic control. The entire ceiling is clad in simple wood-fiber panels, not unfamiliar to public school graduates such as we are, but dressed up with glossy half-round battens and staggered joints.   

The dining room seats 65, with chairs and tables that were re-used and refinished.  The reconfigured bar seats ten and an outdoor dining area seats 20 when the weather cooperates.

Kala Bistro, 2017
New Haven, CT

GRT Architects was asked to design an informal Mediterranean bistro for the owners of renowned New Haven Spanish restaurant Olea. From the outset we agreed this new restaurant, Kala, should have its own visual identity that speaks to a younger less formal crowd. Chef Manuel Romero is celebrated for exquisite Spanish cooking but wanted his new venture to be judged on its own merits and reflect his plan to serve affordable and inventive pan-Mediterranean cuisine. We proposed to evoke the approachable elegance of the classic Bistro, while nodding towards sunnier climes with chromatic references from the Calas, or cove beaches of Spain.

A deep blue watermark runs throughout the space, suggesting the sea and adding weight to an otherwise very bright and simple room. This color runs consistently through all surfaces including banquettes, as blue upholstery and two-tone curtains. Atop this watermark is a sand colored band, alternately a chair rail, drink shelf and banquette upholstery in Eclat Weave, designed by Anni Albers while she lived in Connecticut. We admire the confidence of twentieth century Italian designers who mix humor, beauty and function in equal measure. We explored that balance with the addition of light hearted cloud and wave motifs as overlays on top of a large brass mirror in the dining room and again in silhouette at the back bar. GRT also selected and commissioned artwork to compliment the space featuring large floral paintings on paper by Brooklyn–based artist Eve Perry and dayglo screenprints of caves by local artist Mark Williams.

The floor was laid out in contrasting blue and white penny tile, striped on the diagonal to evoke classic beach umbrellas. The bar is tiled in a glossy brick-format porcelain, with actual terracotta bricks mixed in, protruding from the face of the wall.  Floor and walls are grouted in a warm tan color that echoes the sand colored chair rail. We lit the space simply with naked opal and half-silvered bulbs, elevated by custom sockets in polished copper hung and from tan cloth cords.    

Experience tells us there is a line between a lively and deafening room.  Eager to avoid the look of panels screwed to the ceiling, we took a wholistic but budget minded approach to acoustic control. The entire ceiling is clad in simple wood-fiber panels, not unfamiliar to public school graduates such as we are, but dressed up with glossy half-round battens and staggered joints.   

The dining room seats 65, with chairs and tables that were re-used and refinished.  The reconfigured bar seats ten and an outdoor dining area seats 20 when the weather cooperates.

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