Renowned chef, Joachim Splichal, of the Patina Restaurant Group, acquired the venerable Maple Drive restaurant in Beverly Hills in 2006, and commissioned Clive Wilkinson Architects to design a new seafood restaurant. CWA worked with the client to brainstorm a vision for the restaurant and proposed a total design concept which embraced all visual elements. This included proposing the name ‘Paperfish’ to underscore the restaurant’s function and to align with the concept of treating the plain white architecture as thin leaves of curving drywall to evoke fluidity, water flowing
and pooling, and to give the sense of being immersed below the sea. The word ‘paper’ also evoked fish cooked ‘en papilotte’, and this has become the restaurant’s signature dish.
The complete brand identity was developed simultaneously with the architectural design. CWA researched plates and uniforms, glassware and upholstery, door handles and light fixtures, logos and fonts all at the same time. The restaurant experience needed to be effortless and smoothly integrated, with an architecture that could form a subtle and calming backdrop to the dining event. The environment evokes the ocean in movement, but the effect is almost subliminal as the color blue is absent. The shades of red to orange relate to color changes on the body of a carp fish.