Architects: Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Project team: Stanley Saitowitz, Alan Tse
Structural Engineering: GFDS Engineers
Mechanical, Electrical, Lighting & Plumbing Engineering: LMR Consulting Engineers
Lighting: Revolver Design
General Contractor: Carolan Construction
Project year: 2008
Photographs: Rien van Rijthoven
Toast Restaurant serves comfort food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is the second branch at the new Hamiltonplace shopping mall in Navato, north of San Francisco. The mall is one story Mediterranean kitsch in a parking lot.
The experience of entering Toast is like walking inside a loaf of bread…..like swimming in sparkling Champaign…… The yeast that creates this fizzy interior world is particle board, perforated with random shaped holes, which covers all surfaces. Walls, ceilings, furniture are all wrapped in this bubbling, bread like material.
The low canopied entry transitions to a 40’ volumetric space with a hanging column suspended over the bar. This column has storage for glasses raised in the air. The bar mirrors this cubic cupola below, with seating on three sides. Behind the bar the ceiling drops to the main dining area. First are large communal tables, then smaller tables and booths. The open kitchen has bar seating and becomes a stage for the chefs and pizza makers. A fireplace with storage niches warms the space. Behind, the toilets are contained in a floating box entered from the rear.
Niches in the toasty walls are for displays of ingredients and wares. The image is homey, warm as toast, sparkling like Champaign.