When an industrial building near their Berkeley office became available, the creative agency John McNeil Studio asked Envelope to turn it into the ultimate flex space: a place for video shoots, lectures, strategy sessions, art openings, and much more.
Aether Apparel, an online retailer that specializes in design-conscious technical outerwear, chose our PROXY project in Hayes Valley as the site of its first stand-alone store. Aether wanted a striking physical presence with the unconventionality of a pop-up venue. They were drawn to our use of shipping containers at PROXY as highly customized modular units that are built to be durable rather than disposable, bold instead of drab.
Set along Octavia Boulevard, lots M+N are among the most challenging of the 22 development parcels created when the Central Freeway was removed. The 120-foot-wide parcels are just 18 feet deep, defying typical housing configurations.
A house for a structural engineer and his family in the Berkeley hills, the project expresses structural elegance in the cantilever of the new top floor master bedroom. The design seeks to open the spatial relationships to the surrounding site: to an entry courtyard at the front, to a garden at the base and the kitchen and to the expansive bay view at the back.
Slow Food Nation - Coffee
San Francisco, CA
The Coffee Pavilion at the Slow Food Nation Taste Hall is conceived of as a filter for experience. Three sheer fabric enclosed Coffee Halls remove the visitor from the activity of the larger event. These tasting chambers offer a more intimate taste experience and allow visitors to focus on the cup in their hand, the nuances of the brew, the discussion with an expert. Coffee experts serve a flight of three to four coffees over a 12 minute session, teaching the differences in region, quality and roasting techniques.
The pavilion design is framed by an ethic of reuse. Scaffold, traffic barriers, folding tables are all rented items that will continue to be reused long after this event. The sheer voile fabric will be donated to the CCA Fashion Design Department for use by their students. The coffee bars are structured by an assemblage of discarded chairs, which will be reconditioned after the event. Purchased materials are either sustainable in their production or will be repurposed as building materials. More finely constructed elements - the coffee bars - will be reused for future events.
Andrew Barnett, Ecco Caffe
Eileen Hassi, Ritual Coffee Roasters
Tony Konecny, tonx.org
Pizzeria Delfina Burlingame
The Burlingame location marks the first Pizzeria Delfina outside of San Francisco. We wanted to retain the essence of the original pizzerias without relying on the rote application of a set of aesthetic rules that is often leaves “chain” restaurants that feeling soulless and impersonal. Instead, we devised a nuanced strategy that would allow the qualities unique to Pizzeria Delfina — an intimacy between patron and cook; an open kitchen that serves to energize and entertain the dining area; a heightened level of service — to shine through in any space or city while also feeling well-suited to each context.
Case in point: Burlingame’s warmer climate makes it possible for a stronger outdoor dining culture to flourish, and the Pizzeria’s sizable patio is a first for any of chef/owner Craig Stoll’s concepts. The South Bay location’s considerably larger interior allowed us to include a refined, wooden mezzanine-level dining area that overlooks the kitchen and can function as a private dining room. The main dining area is flooded with natural light and offers the most direct experience of the cooking and food preparation happening behind the bar.
Material similarities are extended throughout each location, but not to an inflexible degree, and only as far as they pay homage to the Neapolitan pizzerias that started it all. We invented a pixelated tile floor pattern that riffs on a traditional Italian mosaic motif by blowing it up to an ultra-magnified scale. Each outpost of Pizzeria Delfina has a chalkboard that displays the wait list; in Burlingame, the entire facade is fair game for people to doodle with chalk while they wait.
Each Pizzeria Delfina also has a mural of the classic Bay of Naples scene, reinterpreted for the San Francisco Bay. The classic depiction shows Naples as a thriving place of abundance overflowing with fruits of the land and the sea. But, always looming over the prosperity is Mount Vesuvius, a quiet reminder that nature is a powerful and ruthless force. PD Burlingame’s mural, rendered in the cartoon literalist style of SF-based artist Sirron Norris, is positioned to show diners precisely where they are in relation to landmarks of the Bay Area. The representation is jumbled and distorted, as if the earth’s plates had already given way to an earthquake, northern California’s own Mount Vesuvius.