The newly renovated Proper Hotel in San Francisco opened in late 2017, showcasing an interior design concept from Kelly Wearstler Design that combines maximalist design elements with the refurbishment of the building’s Beaux Arts interior architecture. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Proper Hotel offers several new elements in the lobby including a striking stair enclosure made from Banker Wire’s architectural woven wire mesh.
“When designing this intricate structure, I needed to be able to create an exposed metal structure which had the same level of intricacy and detail as the inspiration sources,” said Kelly Wearstler, founder of Kelly Wearstler Design. The design team turned to Banker Wire for its wide range of styles and patterns, which, in turn, allowed the firm to explore various configurations and combinations to find the right balance of transparency and texture.
Nicknamed “the cage,” the lobby’s two-story steel enclosure provides a bold, yet delicate, sculptural statement that visually engulfs the main staircase and distinguishes itself from the front desk reception and main lounge areas. Kelly Wearstler Design drew inspiration from San Francisco landmarks such as the Golden Gate and Oakland Bay Bridges and the historic “cage” elevators commonly seen in the early 20th century.
Oakland, CA-based Five Twenty Two Industries fabricated “the cage” using three of Banker Wire’s popular wire mesh patterns: M22-37, a strong and rigid twin wire weave that balances spacing and wire diameter; M22-22, a unique twin wire flat top pattern; and M22-28, a small scale twin wire intercrimp pattern. To add visual interest to the space, Five Twenty Two Industries used a hand applied, oil rubbed bronze finish for the wire mesh. The end result achieves a unique contrast against the turn-of-the-century lobby’s white walls and marble floors.
“It’s a simple and unexpected juxtaposition of texture and form that evokes the Monolith from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey while contrasting Kelly Wrestler’s maximalist interior,” said Phillip Tiffin, principal of Five Twenty Two Industries.