Napa Farms Market, San Francisco

An airport market offers farm fresh fare to travelers on the go.
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Posted April 25, 2012
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If airport shoppers represent nearly every demographic, as Chris von Eckartsberg, principal-in-charge, BCV Architects (San Francisco), says, they still have one thing in common: they’re in a hurry.

In designing the Napa Farms Market, at San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2, von Eckartsberg and his team set out to take away some of the stress of traveling. For starters, they made all the products – which represent a cross-section of local and organic artisanal foods from the Bay Area – accessible at a glance through an open façade. “You don’t even have to walk in; you can stand right in the front and take in all of the offerings,” von Eckartsberg says.

A circular, aisle-free design draws browsers to the perimeter where they can find multiple queues for ordering wood-fired pizza and sandwiches or picking up prepackaged salads and snacks. A separate coffee and pastry kiosk is located in the front of the house, while shoppers with more time can enjoy a glass of wine at two, 16-seat bar tables. “There are a lot of people who get past security and they’re an hour early, so they’re not in a rush,” von Eckartsberg says.

While several different brands are housed at the market, including Cowgirl Creamery, Tyler Florence and Acme Bread, Napa Farms Market wanted to establish its own identity. “We took the approach of creating a singular, overarching aesthetic that was fresh and contemporary, but also used classic materials.”

Throughout the space, white beveled tile and Carrara marble floors contrast with elm wood planking and shelving and a natural cork ceiling. The different brands are called out using lighting and vendor signage. The market’s catchphrase, “farm to flight,” is etched into stainless-steel panels at the shop’s entrance.

And so, while it would never have been possible to create a new Ferry Market in the airport, the BCV team nevertheless created a brand statement that incorporates individual vendor expression without becoming subservient to it, creating an aesthetic that pleases native San Franciscans and visitors alike.

Retailer: D-Lew Enterprises LLC; Michael Levine, coo, Tastes on the Fly, San Mateo, Calif. 

Design Firm and Architect: Baldauf Catton von Eckartsberg Architects (BCV Architects) , San Francisco, Calif.; Christian von Eckartsberg, principal-in-charge; Jamie Shorten, senior associate; Darren Ray, designer

Outside Design Consultants

Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineer: Acies Engineering, Sunnyvale, Calif.

Structural Engineer: MBA Structural Engineers, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Lighting Design: Revolver Design, Berkeley, Calif.

Graphic Design: Rubber Design, San Francisco, Calif.

Kitchen Design: Federighi Design Inc., Richmond, Calif.

Millwork Design: Architectural Woodwork of Montana, Columbia Falls, Mont.

Ceilings: Stratford Hall Textiles, Englewood, Colo.

Fixtures: Custom Fixtures & Refcon Inc., Norwood, N.J.

Flooring: Alvarro de la Rossa, Avanti Marble

Signage/Graphics: Ewingcraft, Novato, Calif.

Wallcoverings and Materials: Tileshop, Berkeley, Calif.

General Contractor: Terra Nova Industries, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Photography: Rien van Rijthoven Architecture Photography, Oakland, Calif.