Onsen was built in an 100 year old, one story brick building that was formerly an auto garage. We wanted to create a place where people could gather with friends, share tea, receive a treatment and soak in a bath. We are inspired by the bathing traditions in Japan and hope to bring a piece of this to the San Francisco bay area.
Onsen was built from a collection of redwood that was found either in the rivers of Northern California or abandoned, forlorn trees discovered during new building projects. Our walls are covered in clay form the southwestern United States, it has all the benefits of using a non petroleum based product as well as feeling warm and homey. All the slate in the bathrooms and showers were classroom chalkboards sold from a school in Ohio. The wooden door handles were found on a beach in Mendocino county and refashioned into handles. Our mission was to try an design and make as many of the elements as possible. If we couldn't, then we had a perfect excuse to go to more Antique Stores or let's be frank, Ebay. We hope when you enter our space you feel like you have discovered something ancient and that each time you visit you find a new detail that you previously missed. We hope to offer a place for creative contemplation, conversation with friends...journey through time and space
Collaborators and Co-conspirators
Johnny and Kenny, Andrew, Doug, Cabinet Maker, Sandra Chow of Stanton Architecture, Susan Naderi Johnson, Peggy Borgman, Julia Kubica Harris, Shana Wood, Scott Rossiter, Chad and Chung Ah
Thanks too: Supervisor Jane Kim and her staff. Randy Shaw of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic.