Reanimating a White Elephant
John Ellis
Reanimating a White Elephant
Dec 22, 2011 A southern California building takes on a new role


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Reanimating a White Elephant_01 12.2011_Amarees_06 Clothes are neatly arranged on linear metal-tube racks and tables. The store owners intend the space to be a flexible lifestyle gallery for clothes, art, and furniture.
Reanimating a White Elephant_02 12.2011_Amarees_05 A lounge area provides a seating adjacent to the dressing area. In this back area, the light brown and beige earthy colors are in contrast to the bright white of the daylit sales floor.
Reanimating a White Elephant_03 12.2011_Amarees_04 Paul Davis says, "Broad vistas complement the modular rooms defined by the domes and columns, giving the space a grand sweep and a human scale."
Reanimating a White Elephant_04 12.2011_Amarees_03 Spot lights on the exterior highlight the original structure and interior suspended lights are computer-controlled for efficiency.
Reanimating a White Elephant_05 12.2011_Amarees_02 Formerly a restaurant on the waterfront in Newport Beach, the iconic structure built in 1961 is now a boutique clothing store called A'marees.
Reanimating a White Elephant_06 12.2011_Amarees_01 The designers made the most of the openness and natural light, painting walls white for a bright interior. In the same vernacular of the building's shell, displays are clean, modern, and minimal.