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Tartine Berkeley is in the historic Graduate Hotel, a Spanish Colonial style building from 1928. Over the years, the space has evolved from a floral shop, into a sunroom, and now a feature bakery.

Studio BBA was engaged to design Tartine’s fifth Bay Area restaurant while we were constructing The Manufactory LA and designing Tartine Inner Sunset, allowing for the emergent process of design to shape this new space. The building’s story, like all of Studio BBA’s work for Tartine, was a main inspirational driver for the design. There is nothing to “roll out” and no mandates on continuity, only the desire to approach our circumstances with strategy and authenticity.

Sunrooms are filled with clay tiles and potted plants, garden furniture and wrought-iron, and beautiful light casts over white-washed structures. Tartine Berkeley’s layout achieves internal function while providing maximum visibility through the existing multi-paned windows. Dialed-in millwork consists of heavy cypress, refined zinc (an incidental carry-over from the utilitarian dining rooms in LA), and custom steel and glass.

The café’s lounge seating, detailed with traditional wood paneling and elevated furniture, is only accessible through the hotel’s lobby; the flow between spaces is intentionally disconnected, as the change in floor elevation infringed on accessibility requirements. Studio BBA took this challenge head-on, to create engaging spaces for people of all mobilities and adhere strictly to the ADA (which was born just one block away, on UC Berkeley’s campus). An articulated drink pass was reinstated during construction to provide functionality and visual continuity between the café & lounge.

To reinforce the sunroom design elements, the space features custom hanging metal bread racks and precious ceramic planters. The back of house is just as considered – organized and oriented to be washed with light through façade windows and skylights.

BBA Team

Bonnie Bridges

Anand Sheth


1,500 SF


Echo Summit Construction


MEP: Acies Engineering

Lighting: Hiram Banks Lighting Design

Kitchen Equipment: Myers Food Service


Eric Rorer Photography

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