Plant Café, San Francisco Building, The Embarcadero Design, Architect, Organic

Organic Cafe San Francisco : Pier 3, The Embarcadero

The Plant Café, Pier 3, California – design by CCS Architecture

Feb 18, 2010

The Plant: Café Organic at Pier 3

Location: The Embarcadero

Design: CCS Architecture

Plant Café Pier 3 San Francisco Building, The Embarcadero
photo : Kelly Barrie

The Plant: Cafe Organic

The Plant: Cafe Organic occupies two historic, waterfront buildings at Pier 3, straddling what was once a railroad passage, which CCS Architecture has modified to create a full-service, 112-seat restaurant and a separate, counter-service cafe. The Plant is one of the “greenest” restaurants in San Francisco–and one of the few in the country with a rooftop solar PV system for on-site, electrical energy production.

Plant Café Pier 3 San Francisco building
photo : Kelly Barrie

CCS inserted light, delicate interiors within the existing pier warehouses, using reclaimed wood, recycled-content tiles and an eclectic mix of zinc, cold-rolled steel, and stainless steel to finish out the spaces. The Plant, like many new projects within converted pier buildings along San Francisco’s Embarcadero, is helping revitalize this edge of the city where the land meets the Bay.

Plant Café Pier 3 San Francisco interior
photo : Kelly Barrie

The 1400-square-foot dining space, originally built in the early 1900s, features 18-foot ceilings, exposed timber structure, and 16-foot-high casement windows that admit natural light and stunning views of the water. CCS added clusters of Edison bulb lights to fill the lofty space; steel and brass pendant lights enliven the bar and community table.

Green wall tiles, made by Heath Ceramics of Sausalito, CA, set off the live-fire pizza oven and zinc-topped bar. A wood-slat ceiling enhances the room’s acoustics while relating to the original Plant Cafe’s design, also by CCS.

Low walls and banquettes made from locally sourced hickory and cold-rolled steel shape the room, forming a central, built-in planter installed with towering queen palms. CCS designed all the restaurant’s tables; the community table, made from walnut and soapstone, is a focal point. San Francisco gardener Flora Grubb created a living wall, installed with air plants, on the cafe’s north wall. Vibrant green flooring is made from coconut shells. Bayside seating hugs the water and has overhead canopies with heating and lighting to allow comfort all year. Sidewalk dining along The Embarcadero gets warm afternoon sun.

Pier 3 cafe San Francisco cafe Pier 3 Organic Cafe San Francisco Organic Cafe
photos : Kris Tamburello

The Plant’s kitchen and counter-service cafe are located across the breezeway from the restaurant. Guests interact with chilled display cases and zinc countertops, and there is limited counter seating on the ground floor. The existing loft space, with original Douglas fir floors and new blackened-steel railings, is now a unique dining loft that sits above the cafe.

CCS, together with The Plant’s owners, has applied for LEED certification for the restaurant, which employs a number of innovative sustainability measures, including:

Restoration and reuse of the historic buildings with minimal demolition of interior, non-structural elements.
6kW solar PV system installed on the roof.
Sodium lighting used in the outdoor dining area to reduce energy consumption and prevent light pollution.
Daylight controls for day-lit areas. Zoning controls for heating and cooling.
Recycled materials used in much of the furniture: coffee tables are made from reused railroad ties; the desk is made from reclaimed teak; the outdoor wait station table is made antique, pine barn wood; two display tables are made from recycled wood.

Simple, non-toxic building materials: zinc, stainless steel, wood cabinetry and floors with natural sealers. Wool fabrics.
Daylight and views in a majority of the spaces, including those where food preparation occurs, increasing visual comfort and reducing the reliance on artificial light.
The Plant converts tap water into acidic and alkaline cleaning fluid for counters, floors, windows and dishwashing using and the Electrolyzer System, which produces electrolyzed water.
All biodegradable waste is recycled and composted.

The Plant serves an almost purely organic and locally sourced menu, with organic and local farm produce and poultry, wild, sustainable seafood, organic wines and liquors and free trade and organic coffees.
All take-out packaging is either recyclable or biodegradable.
Cut, recycled wine bottles are being used to serve some beverages.

San Francisco cafe Pier 3 Organic Cafe San Francisco Organic Cafe
photos : Kris Tamburello ; solar panels photo : 3Mark Lewis

The Plant Café – Building Information

Location: Pier 3, San Francisco, CA
Type: New Restaurant in a Historic Landmark, 4000sf
Owner: Mark Lewis, Matthew Guelke ; Sascha Weiss, Executive Chef
Developer: Pacific Waterfront Partners, LLC, Pier 3, The Embarcadero, San Francisco
Completion: 2009
Budget: $2 million

Architectural and Design: Principal Cass Calder Smith, Project Architect Sean Kennedy
Interior Design Director: Barbara Turpin-Vickroy
Designers: Sarah Krivanka, Cornelia Sterl

Historic Architect: Page & Turnbull, San Francisco, CA
Lighting: Luminesce Design, Marina Del Rey, CA
MEP Engineer: ACIES Engineering, Sunnyvale, CA
Structural Engineer: John Yadegar & Associates, San Francisco, CA
Food Service: Robert Yick Company, Inc., San Francisco, CA
Table Tops: Pacassa Studios, Oakland, CA
Hickory: Arnold and Egan, SF, CA
Graphics: EwingCraft, SF, CA
General Contractor Fineline Group; San Francisco, CA

Award: 2009 IIDA/Metropolis Smart Environments Awards winner (one of three)
Photographs: Kris Tamburello; New York, NY; Melissa Werner; San Francisco, CA

The Plant: Café San Francisco images / information from CCS Architecture

CCS Architecture

For more architectural inspiration checkout these condos around Etobicoke.

Address: The Embarcadero #108, San Francisco, CA 94111, United States
Phone: +1 415-984-0437

Location: Pier 3, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, North California, USA

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