Photo © Matthew Millman

Bar Agricole

Aidlin Darling Design

San Francisco, California
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Owner: Thad Vogler

Completion Date: August 2010

Program: A single-story, 4,000-square-foot restaurant and bar with a 1,600-square-foot garden in the industrial South of Market district of San Francisco. The project is an adaptive reuse of the single-story portion of a three-story historic warehouse. The rest of the building became offices, also designed by Aidlin Darling.

Design concept and solution: Drawing on sensibilities both rough and refined, the architects sought to complement the restaurant's seasonal, sustainable menu with warm textures and locally fabricated materials. To give the long, tall warehouse a more intimate scale, they suspended a wooden "hull" from the ceiling as a way of lowering the space's height on one side. Crafted from reclaimed whiskey-tank oak, the hull ceiling folds down at a right angle to form a wall behind the coffee bar and booths. Aidlin Darling fitted the warehouse's three existing skylight openings with delicate, twisting glass sculptures made from warped Pyrex cylinders, which puncture the hull and filter daylight down into the restaurant. The architects added additional joists to the original ceiling to support a new green roof, and they painted the planks white to set off the warm wood of the hull. Two locally fabricated bars made of board-formed concrete and old barn beams anchor the space. High-backed booths cast from inch-thick ribbons of ductal concrete have a clean silhouette and add a sleek touch to the interior. Bar Agricole's palette of reclaimed and locally fabricated materials, such as chairs made from a Napa Valley vineyard's white oak barrels, will help it meet its target of LEED-CI Platinum certification. Outside, the architects reduced the size of the parking lot to create a street-front garden and seating area lined with raised beds of herbs.

Cost: $850,000

Architect and Designer:
Aidlin Darling Design
500 3rd Street, Suite 410
San Francisco, CA 94107
415.974.5603 p
415.974.0849 f

October 2011
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