Owner Phillip Ma had one key directive for Claudia Juestel of Adeeni Design Group: to make his hybrid coffee/wine bar, Ma•Velous, in San Francisco’s Civic Center “as green as possible.”
“In an aim to create an elegant space with sustainability in mind, we based our palette on the rich colors of coffee, which range from the green fruit maturing into a golden yellow and then into a bright red, and a dark espresso once the beans have been roasted,” explains Juestel.
To execute an eco-friendly café, and one that reminds her of the classic European cafés of her native Salzburg, Juestel retained the original tall wood wainscot and stained it with a dark espresso eco-finish. She used low-VOC paint to cover the original ceiling. The space also features repurposed vintage barber chairs, tabletops from a single fallen California walnut tree, and light fixtures crafted from reclaimed materials.
The café’s proximity to the War Memorial Opera House, the San Francisco Ballet, and Davies Symphony Hall also inspired Juestel to pay homage to the arts. “I wanted to get as many artists as possible involved in the project,” says Juestel, who has a degree in fine arts. Alan Quiros designed the clear recyclable Lucite panels that divide the long and narrow room into four distinct spaces: a Syphon bar, a small library section, café seating, and a lounge area. The custom partitions allow light to travel through the interior, while creating intimate spaces for reading, conversation, and sipping specialty coffees and boutique wines. “The orange Lucite panels cast flickering shadows on the dark wood in the afternoon, reflecting the movement in every art form,” says Juestel.
The pièce de résistance, however, is a 50-foot-long mural by local street artist Eddie Colla that commands the space above the wainscoting on one side of the café. Rejecting the tired rotation of café art, Juestel wanted a singular work to reflect the hip, up-and-coming aura of the Civic Center neighborhood.