Posts Tagged ‘brutal’

The Perils of “Brutal” Architecture: Our Hyatt Regency Embarcadero Hasn’t Aged All That Well

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Here’s your “brutal architecture” from architect John Portman over at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero. Well, part of it, anyway.

The no-longer-revolving site of the former Equinox Restaurant:

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(Yes, they leave their Christmas lights, oh, I’m sorry, “holiday” lights up all year ’round, a practice considered “tacky” where I’m from.)

The whole place is nothing but concrete, plus some tiles on the floor.

This the lobby from above – tile everywhere:

Via Brandon Doran

But see what the employees have done? They’ve laid down some carpeting, you know, to ease the pain, the brutality:

(Especially when there’s water on the floor on a rainy day, you can’t really tell that you’re inside a building. Some guests don’t like that.)

Anyway, all the deets:

“This seminal 20-story gray concrete structure—designed by influential architect John Portman, who launched the trend toward indoor-outdoor hotel environments—is the focal point of the Embarcadero Center, where more than 100 shops and restaurants cater to the Financial District. The spectacular 17-story atrium lobby (listed by Guinness World Records as the largest hotel lobby in the world)…”

“Cozy” this place is not.

Take a visit sometime, why not?

See the Hanging Gardens of San Francisco at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Where would we be without our own little outpost of Brutalist Architecture – the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero?

Remember that guy who paid $30-something a day (through Priceline.com, originally) to live at the Reeg for months and months cheaper than renting an apartment in the pricey 415? Well, here’s where he lived:

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Check it out yourself and see what you think of this concrete monstrosity. Some people love it.

Northern California is Now Bereft of Revolving Restaurants – Let’s Get the Equinox Spinning Again!

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

What’s up with the former Equinox Restaurant way up high down at the foot of Market Street? It don’t revolve no mo. What’s the deal? Does it need a new motor? Cause my stepbrother is parting out a Subaru -  he has a flat four boxer with a recent rebuild that could totally be used to spin that place like a record, baby.

I believe that this City should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a diner on the revolving restaurant known as Equinox, spinning him as he dines, and returning him safely to the Earth.

Now don’t talk to me about how it’s never gonna revolve ’cause the Hyatt Regency people are dead-set on continuing with their “sorry hemispheres” concept. What do the rich people do up there anyway in the Regency Club Lounge? They sure as heck don’t revolve – seems a waste, doesn’t it? What the richers do up there is watch cable TV without being disturbed by the hoi polloi, such as yourself.

See the idiot box flickering away up in there? That’s what they’re doing with the Big E these days:

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This boxy turntable was perched atop Embarcadero Five for one reason, and only one reason: to separate tourists from their money by serving them bad food with a nice view. And it was available to all comers - as long as you had $30 for rubbery chicken, you were welcome to take a ride.

Those were the days.

We should fix up the motor, lube the spindle, and get her turning again - we could re-open the Equinox in time for NewYear’s Eve, December 31st, 2009.

Then we’d party like it’s 1999. (Will Smith rapped a Rock the Casbah cover? Wow.)

We choose to go to the Equinox. We choose to go to the Equinox in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

Evict the Richers, Free the ‘Nox!

NorCal’s Only Revolving Restaurant Doesn’t Revolve Anymore?

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Well here it is, atop the “brutal” concrete Hyatt Regency San Francisco hotel at 5 Embarcadero - the former Equinox revolving restaurant. But it closed down a few years back, never to revolve again. Oh well.

Back in the day, it was the thang. Check out a major Warner release from 1979 on the YouTube: Time After Time. It’s a time travel epic involving a hungry (try not to yell out “check please!” at 3:45) Mary Steenburgen and saucy Jack the Ripper. See how the place rotated?

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These days, this rooftop locale has become the non revolving Regency Club Lounge or Regency Club, or Regency Club Floor and Lounge, something like that. The whole shebang is divided into four hemispheres, so now there are areas dedicated to “dining, business, entertainment and relaxation.”    

But this “hotel within a hotel” is reserved only for the upper crust of hotel guests.

Check it out, if you can.