Clock Bar at the Westin St. Francis pays homage to the San
Francisco hotel’s century-old tradition in Union Square.
While its namesake — the Magneta grandfather clock —
stands proudly outside the bar, the interior is a modern throwback.
Rockwell Group designed the Clock Bar, outfitted with rosewood
walls, black-burned wood floors, and rich leather banquettes
and lounge chairs in blue and chocolate brown. The two structural
columns in the 1,260-square-foot space required special treatment
to transform them from being solely functional to becoming
a key aesthetic – this is where Brad Oldham Int’l,
Inc. (BOI) entered the project.
The 12-foot columns were clad in hand-slumped
glass in caramel, cream and mirror – colors chosen to
reflect the rich, modern interior design. The glass panels
were slumped in a 30-inch diameter. BOI designed and built
a custom double-hinge system, on which the glass panels were
installed. The tight-radius engineering requirements were
difficult as each panel needed to pull out and rotate to provide
access to the lights behind each panel.
Near the top of both columns, guests can see
the custom clocks on which actual times from around the world
rotate. When the client requested this element, the product
simply did not exist. The BOI team custom built a flexible
LED panel light clock supported by a one-of-a-kind computer
program to simultaneously reflect time from New York, London,
Tokyo, Paris, and San Francisco. This electronic clock clearly
draws upon the history of the location while looking forward
into the future.
This project was part of the largest renovation
for Westin St. Francis in more than a century, with a two-year,
$40 million transformation. BOI was challenged to stay within
historical guidelines when developing and installing the glass
and clock work.
The finished product has met with acclaim. “The
aesthetic is phenomenal,” said JoshSpear.com, a recognized
trend-spotting blog and a digital think-tank focused on exploring
new ways to reach young people without interrupting them.
Meanwhile, Contract Magazine (June
24, 2009) stated, “The centerpiece of the space is two
columns clad in hand-blown champagne- and amber-colored glass
with ticker clocks showing the time in cities around the world.”