Aug 25

Whilst Back In San Francisco… The Clock Strikes Midnight

by Mike Miller

Whilst Back In San Francisco… The Clock Strikes Midnight And The Ed Hardy Building, The Iconic Pumpkin, Transforms Into The Gray Fog Of Restoration Hardware

Similar situation to U.C. Davis. The Ed Hardy Building is an iconic terra cotta Tuscan-esque castle, in San Francisco’s design district. Ed Hardy, like so many, fell upon difficult times, over the last couple of years and had to close its really large doors. Enter retailor, Restoration Hardware, based in Marin. They purchase the castle. So now what? This is where the situation is a bit different than Davis. For us, this is a colorist project, with no art. We were fortunate to be referred by bay area colorist extraordinaire, Tim Caton. Branding conscious Restoration Hardware is looking for “the orange pumpkin” to miraculously transform into “the natural gray fog”. This was a bit more difficult than first meets the eye… They were looking for the slab to maintain the nuances of the original (remember, this was an iconic building, very memorable and popular with the city’s design crowd), appear like a naturally patinaed, worn uncolored slab (a “gray cement gray”), and, be right in the ballpark of “Restoration Hardware Gray” (the brand is the man… the brand is the man…). How’d we do? Let’s take a look…

Our stain, dye, tint solution at Restoration Hardware, San Francisco
Our stain, dye, tint solution at Restoration Hardware, San Francisco, over old terra cotta concrete.

Kelley’s early site mock-up efforts
And, just to show you how far we had to come, this is a shot of Kelley’s early site mock-up efforts. Just as at Davis (and Berkeley), the slab was first shot-blasted and ground. And, again (no surprise), substantial cracking entered the equation… What concretist could ask for any more!!!

Here’s from the back to the front
Last shot was from the front to the back. Here’s from the back to the front.

Front city sidewalk
Front city sidewalk (also integrally colored “pumpkin orange”) was also transformed (was it “gray fog” or “another rainy day in San Francisco gray”… no no…) into “RESTORATION HARDWARE GRAY”, that special gray. This walk was slightly eroded and didn’t require blasting/grinding. We just de-greased it. Total scope was approximately 5,000 square feet.

Hey! Want more info on this type of transformation? Check-out “UNDERAPPRECIATED STRUCTURAL SLABS CAN BE RECYCLED”,
from my column in Concrete Décor magazine.

Here are a few detail shots… Notice how natural this floor comes off? It’s not at all painted-looking!
the concretist in the bedroom
the concretist in the bedroom… Oh my!

concretist in the bathroom
concretist in the bathroom… Oh my!

Miller, the concretist, at the sink and shaving…  It’s about time!
Miller, the concretist, at the sink and shaving… It’s about time!

up close and personal… “natural gray”, “gray cement gray”, “the gray fog”, “another rainy day in San Francisco gray"
And, finally, up close and personal… “natural gray”, “gray cement gray”, “the gray fog”, “another rainy day in San Francisco gray”, whatever… What really counted (we’re so commercial!) was that is came of as: RESTORATION HARDWARE GRAY!!! Now, please support our patron and go buy some really large furniture, please!

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