Client: Smittcamp Enterprises
Location: Fresno, California, USA
Size: 5,300 square foot interior and 805 square foot exterior
Photography: Zack Benson Photography
Architect: Gary Wang Architecture (GWA)
Decorative Lighting Suppliers:
Brendan Ravenhill, Allied Maker
Paul Paige & CU29
Ethimo, Pedrali, Brass & Burl, Mindo, Kathy Kuo, Pollack & Garrett Leather
Muralist: Yomar Augusto
Specialty Finishes: Carolina Lizarraga (custom concrete flooring and soffit treatment)& Studios Colibri (specialty plasterwork)
Nestled within the vibrant city of Fresno, California, the Saizon restaurant stands as a testament to the fusion of architectural prowess and innovative design. Conceived and brought to life by the Los Angeles-based Studio UNLTD, Saizon is a captivating dining establishment that masterfully marries permanence with fluidity, creating a space that beckons patrons to experience the ebb and flow of both architectural structure and the ocean’s rhythm.
Led by the visionary Gary Wang Architecture (GWA), Saizon’s architectural design is a triumph that encapsulates the essence of its coastal inspiration. The structure, encompassing 5,300 square feet of interior space and an 805-square-foot exterior patio, resides within a freestanding building as part of a new mixed-use development. The architectural brilliance is most notably exemplified by the heavily plastered columns and beams that evoke the weathered, decaying pier supports of coastal constructions. This dramatic gridded framework serves as the backbone of the restaurant, echoing the sturdy permanence of architectural marvels.
The Dance of Fluidity and Permanence
Studio UNLTD’s design for Saizon adeptly balances the permanence of architectural elements with the fluidity symbolized by the ocean’s constant motion. This creative dance is expressed through meticulously curated contrasts and harmonies. Board-formed concrete wall tiles provide a textured backdrop that complements the plastered columns and beams, creating a symphony of textures and depths that invite visual exploration.
Design Concept: A Journey Through Elements
At Saizon, every corner exudes intentionality. The entryway beckons with a vibrant mural, a striking testament to the harmony between geometries and nature’s forces. The bar and pass counter’s soffit is adorned with a custom-painted finish reminiscent of rusted metals on aged fishing boats, invoking a sense of nostalgia and authenticity.
A painted floor takes patrons on a journey, mirroring the motion of waves crashing on a sandy beach, seamlessly flowing from the lively bar and lounge to the serene private dining room. The latter is a masterpiece defined by rustic onyx-colored “blocks” adorned with geometric patterns inspired by ancient Mexican ruins. An embedded double-sided fireplace casts a warm glow, enveloping the intimate space and the adjacent main dining area.
Harmonious Palette and Lighting
The interior design is a harmonious blend of warm leathers, dark-stained oak, and shades of black, punctuated by ocean blues and copper highlights. Architectural lighting highlights tables, while accent lighting draws attention to columns, beams, artwork, and custom wall treatments, adding depth and allure.
Custom armed pendants, adorned with textured ceramic shades and leather strapping, line the spine of the double-sided banquette, adding an artistic touch. Geometric shapes are a playful motif, adorning tabletops and banquette profiles, enriching the largely custom furniture’s visual appeal.
Collaborations and Craftsmanship
Saizon’s allure lies in its attention to detail, exemplified by collaborative efforts with artisans. The work of muralist Yomar Augusto infuses vibrant energy, celebrating the space’s geometries and nature’s rhythms. The expertise of Carolina Lizarraga and Studios Colibri brings specialty plasterwork and custom concrete flooring that adds authenticity and patina.
Saizon, the brainchild of Studio UNLTD and Gary Wang Architecture, is a harmonious marriage of architectural permanence and fluid design, capturing the essence of the ocean’s rhythm within its walls. With a meticulous focus on contrasts, textures, and collaborative craftsmanship, Saizon emerges as a testament to the power of design to create immersive dining experiences. Whether one seeks the energy of the bar, the tranquility of the private dining room, or the allure of the main dining area, Saizon promises a journey through the interplay of design and architectural ingenuity.