- By Suzanna Koolidge
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CCS Architecture recently completed the new lobby, restaurant and bar at the Grand Hyatt on Union Square in San Francisco, part of a larger $70 million renovation of the entire property. The concept, which drove the design, was about identifying the local region of Northern California within an international brand, and has infused a new energy into Union Square. What once was once predominantly conceived as a conference hotel now caters to both locals and hotel guests alike.
The hotel lobby and mezzanine are essentially within a cube of space anchored by two central elevator cores, which has been covered in eucalyptus boards from the ground to the thirty-foot ceiling, acting as a common architectural element to all areas. A new steel, glass, and wood stair leads from the lobby to the mezzanine and features a custom, 24-foot wide, digital animated California Sunset which can be seen from both the lobby but also the street.
Drawing focus high above the beautifully refurbished lobby, OneUP Restaurant & Lounge is the gem of the property, referencing the dynamic restaurant and lounge’s gastronomic philosophy as a level above the rest. Upstairs, OneUP features a sleek, modern-chic décor with a distinct Northern California stamp. Referencing the great tradition of Northern California’s culinary culture, the new restaurant’s showcase live-fire kitchen becomes a welcoming hearth to the intimate 56-seat dining room. The long side of the room, which is all existing large windows, is now fronted with wood shelves loaded with California cookbooks, digital displays, and various objects of interest. Guests pass through an interactive wine and liquor library, complete with interactive touch- screen menu displays, to the inviting bar and lounge, a lively and sociable setting for cocktails, light fare and live music. Finishes throughout the project are a series of counterpoints relating to the regional vs. the international: natural wood and polished chrome, tapestry and concrete, plants and glass.
Grand Hyatt San Francisco also provides a cuisine preview with the launch the city’s first hotel-operated food truck, delivering a sampling of the new San Francisco restaurant’s Northern California-influenced, American bistro cuisine across the city.