Bar, Cafe &I Kitchen Design - Built 2017

Steel Veil Fabrication - Unbuilt

Structure - Un-reinforced brick with wooden trusses
Project Size: 5000sf 
Materials: 1/8" Laser-cut Stainless Steel 

Digital Craft
Interior Design


Steel Veil is fabricated from 3/16-inch stainless steel panels laser cut to fit in an inter-locking pattern.  Each panel is mounted to a steel frame anchored at the stair tower and floor.  

The final design yields an energized zone that one walks through while journeying along the stair.

KEY: Computational Design, Material Performance, Craft, CNC Fabrication, Parametric



We agreed to design a cafe and bar with the provision that a casual setting needed a visual anchor, blink!LAB treated the staircase as a stage set.  After all, Oakland was studded with waterholes glowing with Edison light bulbs.  We wished a something more sophisticated and direct. Shrouded by a thin veil, patrons become the actors in the nightly play of an Oakland bar and restaurant.

Functionally, the building is a 100-year old un-reinforced brick structure with wooden roof trusses.  Seismic bracing at the front and additional stiffening of the Roof assembly allowed use of the entire roof as a public bar. The basement was partially upgraded to accommodate auxiliary storage and food preparation.

A bar is about being seen. So we approach the program by imagining scenarios of activities.  This allowed us to increase seating capacity and give the Bar a sense of direction.

At 13 feet by 13 feet, the veil is nestled in the arms of the winding stair leading to the Rooftop Bar. The design strategy began with a preoccupation with walls as an architectural tool for public display, and the idea of privacy in a public space. 


In an effort to explore this public/private dynamic voyeurism, we began looking at the effects of moire' patterning and lighting.  

In order to achieve a compelling moire' pattern, it became clear that veil's momenta of solids areas versus voids would be defined by examination of intensity - too solid and the result is a wall, too porous and the steel plate become superfluous. This notion of dynamic visual flow between solid and void led to a sinuous steel tapestry.