Green Restaurant named, of course, Lettüs

Architect Cass Calder Smith grew up on a commune and studied solar energy, but his green designs don't suffer from the dreaded hippie aesthetic. For their organic slow food restaurant in San Francisco, Mark Lewis and Matthew Guelke wanted to adhere to green design principles, but to reach beyond the "earthy-crunchy crowd" "The earthier places are great, but a lot of their clientele already eats this way," Guelke says. "We wanted to make a place that caters more to the mainstream, where people come in because of the design of the space and the kinds of dishes we're offering." ..."When we said to Cass that we wanted to be the waiting room of a Finnish sauna set in a Tokyo airport, he got it"

We quote from Metropolis:

Instead of searching high and low for a broad palette of green materials, Smith chose one wood for almost everything: walls, ceilings, tabletops, shelving—even the bathroom counter. "When you're doing organic food, I think a wooden background is as important as the plate," Smith says. "It creates this feeling that's warm and familiar—it's kind of domestic." Obviously the lumber could not be freshly harvested from an endangered forest. Instead Smith chose hickory reclaimed from a 186-year-old barn in Gilson, Illinois and acquired by Restoration Timber. "Hickory is a really beautiful wood," he says, "and it's even better when it's this recycled version—it's more alive as far as grain and color and range."

To reflect the Slow Food movement's at-tention to where food comes from, Lewis and Guelke wanted natural fabrics and a stonelike floor. CCS chose wool upholstery from Maharam in a mossy green. The fabric is 100 percent natural and will not off-gas toxic chemicals into the air—an environmental complement to Weiss's organic food. The floor is covered with all-natural tiles from Royal Mosa, a company that recaptures and recycles all of its waste, from pigments to gas particulates. The tiles themselves are recyclable and do not emit toxins. ::Metropolis and ::Cass Calder Smith Architects

Tags: Designers | San Francisco

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