San Francisco, CA
Conduit Restaurant emerged from the found circumstances. The ground floor commercial space in a new residential building had a low ceiling and a tangled maze of plumbing, sprinkler and electrical conduits serving the residences above. To cover these pipes would have further reduced the space. Instead, even more conduits were layered over the existing to counteract and remediate the situation.
The design inspired the name……
At the entry is a long fireplace that warms the entry. Behind, table seating fills the room. A series of conduit screens in galvanized or copper color divide the tables. Layers of conduit line the ceiling becoming a woven fabric of pipes. On the right is an open bar made of stacked bars of conduit. Glass shelves support the bottles. The other end is banquet seating on a bench, hovering in light, divided into a series of conduit alcoves. At the end of the room another bar frames the open kitchen, a well-lit stage for the cooks. Seating at this bar allows patrons to watch the performance close up. The floor has black granite paths with a large mat that locates the black wood laminate tables.
Behind the kitchen is a glass and conduit-enclosed cellar and private dining room. Wine is stored in a perforated black wood wall. Beyond are the bathroom enclosures of entirely etched glass, with a continuous trough sink and long mirror above.
The food is contemporary Californian/French, tuned to this emerging Mission area. It is both stylish and accessible, sophisticated and simple, bringing downtown upscale flair to the neighborhoods.
The atmosphere is sleek and hip, as well as rich and warm. The woven layers of copper and galvanized pipe transform the room into a rich and dimensional fabric to inhabit. Conduit disproves the old adage by making a silk purse from a sow’s ear.