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Hothouse Flowers

The season’s finest fashion steams up a new Japanese bathhouse in an old Tenderloin mechanic’s garage.


Left: Givenchy floral long-sleeved dress.
Right: Emanuel Ungaro silk viscose dress; Jennifer Fisher Crinkle ring.

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A traditional Japanese cast-iron kettle called a tetsubin is suspended from a hook above the tearoom bar, built from Douglas fir and concrete.

On model: Gucci sea-life-print crepe de chine long-sleeved shirtdress and elastic web belt.

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The bathhouse contains six private treatment rooms, where acupuncture, Reiki, massage, and facials will be offered.

On model: Carolina Herrera silk blouse with neck tie and silk skirt with high slit; Prada peep-toe pumps.

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The communal soaking pool is surrounded by wooden deck chairs and petrified wood stumps for lounging. Skylights flood the space with natural light.

Left: Nu Swim Stas bikini top and Low Low bottom
Right: Suno ribbon-tie pleated dress; Giovanito Rossi velvet Mary Janes.

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The redwood-clad sauna is backlit by a glowing wall of Himalayan salt.

Left: Narciso Rodriguez crushed-paper silk dress.
Right: Hermès cotton-and-silk-satin V-neck pleated embroidered dress.

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The steam room is covered in zigzag black and white tiles inspired by the work of California artist Orr Marshall.

Left: Alaïa lace chemise; Nu Swim Low Low bottom.
Right: Oscar de la Renta roll-neck toile de Jouy lace knit top; Nu Swim Basic Low bottom.

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Marni cut-out heel pumps.

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The cold plunge and shower walls are lined in sheets of reclaimed chalkboard slate from a school in Ohio.

Hermès cotton-and-silk-satin V-neck pleated embroidered dress; Jennifer Meyer dome drop earrings.

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A 10-by-10-foot, 104-degree soaking pool now claims the space formerly filled by a mechanic’s pit.

On models: Stevie Howell Ritza’s ranunculus long silk kimono robes.

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Far East on Eddy Street
Earlier this year, artist Caroline Smith and builder Sunny Simmons took a research trip across Japan, along the way soaking in more than a dozen traditional bathhouses—called onsens—from Tokyo to Kyoto to Kurokawa. Back in San Francisco, the couple were building their own urban oasis, Onsen, in an unlikely place: a former auto body shop at 466 Eddy Street in the Tenderloin. The bathhouse and tearoom will open in October.

Originally published in the September issue of
San Francisco

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