Sited in a historic building of the Presidio, this project required an approach to adaptive re-use that was a dramatic, but ultimately light, touch. The charm of the original building rested in its barn-like simplicity in both form and detail. Our re-design, while obviously leaning towards modern, aims to maintain the sense of utilitarianism expressed in the original structure.
The building's generous central open volume, with its adjoining window-wall, was the obvious site for the restaurant's dining area. A long bar, running almost the full length of the room, occupies the back of the space. Mirrors on the back wall reflect out to the window-wall view beyond. A lot of the original details were re-used but updated to keep the interior visually clean and contemporary. The walls were stripped back to board lumber sheathing and repainted in their original color scheme. The Celotex ceiling was retained and painted white. Liquor cabinets on the back wall of the bar are reclaimed medicine cabinets from the Presidio Salvage, saved from the Letterman Hospital nearby.
New features were articulated using classic materials. The Carrara marble bar, industrial steel sash room dividers, and leather banquettes are modern expressions but refer back to 1920's design. Simple "Thomas Edison" bulbs light the space. A communal dining table, designed and built by our shop, stands as the visual focus of the furnishings. The modern touches do not overwhelm the historic building, but instead work with it.
Sometimes visually paring down requires building up. This was the case here when we installed elements that cleverly hide the restaurant's HVAC registers. Steel "wainscoting" with custom perforations was fabricated and installed on the walls to cover the registers along the room's perimeter. Similar perforated plates were made to be part of the underside of the bar and host stand. Other elements fabricated by the Lundberg Design shop include three glue-chip glass partitions, the bronze-tinted mirrors at the back of the bar, the hot-rolled steel bar serving area, and booth back paneling. We also built the main dining table using two book-matched slabs of California Black Walnut and a hot-rolled steel structure.