A stereoscopic mural elevates this compact Newport Beach coffee shop

Heavens Above

One might not associate Newport Beach with the Late Italian Renaissance but when architects David Wick and Andrew Lindley needed to enliven a narrow, awkwardly shaped, coffeeshop housed in one of Orange County’s latest multi-use developments, the historic style serve as a rich source of inspiration.

The pair—hailing from respective firms Wick Architecture & Design and LAND Design Studio—had recently traveled to Italy and were drawn to Antonio da Correggio’s 16th-century fresco Assumption of the Virgin, that adorns the dome of the Cathedral of Parma. As any true masterpiece of the period, this oeuvre demonstrates the ability to extend space with revolutionary tromp l’oeil and perspective techniques. Wick and Lindley’s intervention for Stereoscope Coffee translated these qualities through the use of contemporary technology.

(Benny Chan)

Cloaked across the L-shaped coffeeshop’s 15-foot high ceilings and segments of its walls is what might at first seem like a blurry reproduction of the fresco in question. On closer inspection, it becomes clear that this digital impression is in fact a multi colored and layered stereoscopic visual that comes to life with the use of 3D glasses. The image appears to be dropping down as it fades into the white walls, almost as if the heavens were emerging out of this quaint cafe. The architects tapped Nashville-based blueprinters Big Visual Group to gauge the right optical effect and create vinyl decals that could be easily applied to the different surfaces.

(Benny Chan)

This mural stands alone as a dramatic statement piece that helps define an otherwise cavernous locale. It creates flow and continuity between Stereoscope Coffee’s two spaces, the main bar and an adjacent caddy-cornered seating area. Juxtaposing this elaborate display are fiercely rectilinear yet unobtrusive elements: a Blue Orca marble counter top and  wrap-around white oak banquets. A white tile backsplash and elegant Astro Globe lighting fixtures serve as the finishing touches.