SAMOVAR TEA BAR + CAFE
San Francisco International Airport
Samovar Tea at SFO features the heritage of tea drinking for today’s jet-setter. The modern design aesthetic uses a refined, natural palette juxtaposed with moments of crafted, sheeny brass to create a serene space that is a traveler’s joyful oasis. A beloved San Franciscan purveyor, Samovar celebrates making the most of the moments we have.
A casual seating arrangement – complete with sofas, a low wooden table, lamp and traditional rug in modern hues – creates a welcoming atmosphere in front of the tenant space and is complemented by a high stone table. Clad in natural, light-hued stone, two bars – one tea, one liquor – set the character of the interior space and establish a clear, inviting identity for Samovar at SFO. The tea bar is treated like a large furniture element, with moments of wood detailing, while the dramatic liquor bar reads as a mass of continuous stone.
Delicious artisanal pastries and refined grab-n-go sandwiches – as well as tea brewed in state-of-the art crucibles and warm chai ladled from over-sized hammered copper pots – are programmed into the tea bar. Reinforcing the “Zen” quality of the project, a white ceiling floats above the rear dining area, with recessed light boxes that illuminate the seating below. The front of the project is open to above, where a series of while lacquer baffles reprise the liquor bar’s shelving and allow natural light to diffuse into the project. The idea of complementary opposites from elsewhere in the project is incorporated into the signage – the white glowing letters, cut from the horizontal stainless panel is juxtaposed with the vertical dark stone monolith into which the Samovar logo is etched.
Sustainability is a key component of the Samovar Tea ethos, and this design embraces green building through the selection of FSC-certified woods, recycled content where possible and low VOC choices.