I_0409_ToastTown1

Photo Essay: Toast of the Town

April 21, 2009

Charged with creating a sophisticated urban identity for an innovative wine tasting lounge, BCV Architects simultaneously captured a modern expression of the ‘spirit’ of California Wine Country.

SOURCES | CONTACT

Taking cues from Napa Valley’s unique blend of industry and natural beauty, San Francisco’s Press Club celebrates the juxtaposition of industrial versus organic as a foundation for its design.

Within a distinctly modern sculptural expression, BALDAUF CATTON VON ECKARTSBERG Architects (BCV) strived to capture a sense of place, which has been created within an otherwise challenging urban location. With a wine retail shop and concierge on the entry level, a subterranean cellar space of San Francisco’s Four Seasons Hotel houses the majority of the project’s 8,200 square feet, which includes individually maintained tasting bars for eight regional world-class wineries, public and semi-private lounge space, a central wine and food bar, a private event room, and support spaces.

A bold monolith concrete staircase dramatically links the upper level arrival and wine shop to the extensive wine-centric program below. A feature back-illuminated bottle wall (carefully concealing structural transfer beams and bracing members) flanks the opening to the lounge, and boldly contributes to the sculptural expression of the project. This signature Press Club element transcends the divide between entry level and cellar and punctuates the project with its striking color patterning.

The cellar is organized primarily around a central gallery marked by stand-up organic plank-topped communal tasting tables. From this central spine, east and west wine halls and other diverse program elements connect—sequenced from the most public areas at the elevator/stair arrival, to the most private space at the secluded private tasting room.

“Press Club’s contemporary aesthetic take and interpretation of the wine tasting experience establishes a compelling San Francisco wine venue,” explains Chris von Eckartsberg, principal-in-charge, BCV Architects.

Notably, Press Club was also designed with an eye toward sustainability through limited material use and careful material selection, as well as by reuse of existing materials and surfaces as part of the final project aesthetic.

As a first step toward reducing material quantities, the existing structural concrete floor was left exposed, then ground and sealed for its finished look. Furthermore, local tradesmen using regional materials produced the complementary concrete and board formed cement plaster systems.

The existing structural ceiling, which houses pipes and air ducts, was left exposed—allowing limited selective use of dropped soffits to define spaces. At the walls, a datum line limits the height of new wall surfacing finishes. These initial steps allowed new materials to be conservatively introduced to the existing space.

The primary expression of the “industrial and organic” mantra is expressed in a simple pattern play throughout of rich 4-inch American black walnut planking (responsibly forested) juxtaposed with the imprinting of 4-inch board formed cement plaster. Orientation shifts and the patterning from these plank expressions create the subtle dialogue between these two primary contrasting materials.

The integration of normally discarded sapwood planking into the project further accentuates the pattern play and conserves material.

Other key materials round out the simple project palette. Deeply toned fabric of naturally sustainable cork, locally fabricated stainless steel wine racking, precast charcoal counter tops, simple clean lined custom furnishings, and striking yet economically fabricated decorative lighting fixtures contribute to the elemental purity of the space.

Furthermore, Press Club’s downtown location brings distant Napa to the city and provides a greener alternative to the lengthy drive normally required to experience the culture of wine tasting.

The sense of place and regional flavor is further enhanced through BCV’s vision/direction for Press Club’s custom artwork. Painterly abstractions of photographic imagery from Napa Valley hued to the palette of the project are the product of young, local art talent.

In the fiercely competitive hospitality industry, Press Club holds a unique advantage in that it appeals to both locals and visitors. And the impeccable, clean design of this space only adds to its allure. A compelling social venue for San Franciscan wine enthusiasts, this urban wine tasting lounge simultaneously offers the business traveler and tourist exclusive access to some of Northern California’s most acclaimed vintners.

 

SOURCES:
back to top

ARTWORK

Florendipity Photography

Oberon Design & Manufacturing
(415) 865-5440


CARPETING

Bentley Prince Street
(800) 423-4709

Masland Contract
(888) 633-4770


CERAMIC TILE/CONCRETE

Concreteworks
(510) 534-7141

Dal-Tile
(214) 398-1411

Eclipse Design
(707) 763-3104

EuroWest


KITCHEN CEILING TILES

Armstrong
(717) 397-0611


LIGHTING

100watt Network
(888) 477-9288

Niche Modern
(866) 299-7105

Resolute
(206) 343-9323


TEXTILES

Arc-Com
(800) 223-5466

Architex
(800) 621-0827

Knoll Textiles
(866) 565-5858

Maharam
(800) 645-3943


FURNISHINGS

SEATING

Andreu World America
(800) 632-5272

DFm
Dependable Furniture Manufacturing

(510) 635-1111

ISA International
(416) 782-9100   

Martin Brattrud
(323) 770-4171


TABLES

Brent Comber Originals
(604) 980-4467

Warisan


 

CONTACT:
back to top

CLIENT

PRESS CLUB
20 Yerba Buena Ln.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 744-5000

PROJECT TEAM

ARCHITECTURE + INTERIOR DESIGN

Baldauf Catton Von Eckartsberg Architects
1527 Stockton St., 4th Fl.
San Francisco, CA  94133
(415) 398-6538

Christian von Eckartsberg, Principal-in-charge/Design Principal
Megan Hannon, Job Captain/Project Designer
Kevin Zeller, Project Manager
Anna Pahucki, Interior Designer

 

GENERAL CONTARACTOR
Plant Construction Company, LLP

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
Desimone Consulting Engineers

MECHANICAL/ELECTRICALl
CB Engineers

AUDIOVISUAL
Kray Cabling Inc.

PHOTOGRAPHY
Rien van Rijthoven,
Architecturephotography

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of I+S Design, create an account today!