A 50s Diner Influenced this Mid-Century Deli in São Paulo

In the birth country of one of the most influential mid-century architects of all time, it is only natural we come across stunning representations of the 1950s.

This is what happened with this mid-century deli in São Paulo, inspired by not just a specific 50s diner, but the memory these iconic 20-century constructions still evoke to this day. Z Deli is located at the Institute of Architects of Brazil, and if you scroll down you’ll get to know how this stunning bar decor came to be.


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Designed by architects Guilherme Pianca and Gabriel Kogan, Z Deli was 100% inspired by the local research done by the two architects prior to beginning the project.

Both Pianca and Kogan felt inspired by the fifties diners and restaurant references they found around São Paulo.

Located on the ground floor of what used to be the kitchen area of the São Paulo department of the Institute of Architects of Brazil (Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil, IAB-SP), built back in 1950, Pianca and Kogan wanted to create a space that would honor the place’s original aesthetics.

In trying to complement that aesthetic and the mid-century architecture buildings that surround the place, nowadays, Z Deli occupies a 220-square-meter space that was transformed into a quaint sandwich shop with a bold bar decor.

The two architects went with the color palette they found to better represent the 50s diners and references they pinpointed, filled with wooden elements, yellow and beige shades.

These shades were reinterpreted and brought to life in Z Deli!

Insted of the dark wood wall covering we are used to seeing in the original 50s diners, Pianca and Kogan went with bamboo panels, contrasting them with bright orange leather bar stools and chairs, which were all customized to make them look like authentic 50’s retro furniture.

We tried to understand how different materials were applied in these architectures, bringing them in a subtle manner to our project,” said the team to Dezeen.

You will also find marble and golden granite countertops, which are yet another clear reference to a mid-century stone façade you would be able to find in the surroundings of the Institute of Architects of Brazil.

One of the most distinctive features of this mid-century deli is the 10-meter-long counter where cocktails, deserts and sandwiches are made, and also served.

Photos © Pedro Vannucchi


Editor’s Choice

Get a little bit of this 1950’s retro feeling drawn into your next project with our suggestion…

Ellen dining chair by Essential Home


READ MORE: A California-Inspired Bar Design in the Heart of New Jersey


Now that you’ve read and loved our article, feel free to pin all the images to your favorite Pinterest board, or share them on social media. Don’t forget that you can visit our Pinterest Boards and find out the most outstanding bar stools and furniture ideas!

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