In vocation and avocation, both, Karl Hasz, 37, has a physical relationship with the city of San Francisco.
Hasz, founder and president of Hasz Construction, a San Francisco design and construction company, deals in one-of-a-kind design and unique ideas.
Responsible for some of the most unusual spaces in San Francisco — Bacar, Cyrus, Frisson, Photograph, Supperclub, and Très Agaves — Hasz credits his success to his knowledge of city building codes, practical design and analysis of past designs.
When Hasz designed the Supperclub, he traveled to Amsterdam to see the original. After seeing patrons sit on beds around the periphery, the Burning Man-esque show in the center, the set five-course meal, and the center space morphing into a dance floor as dinner finished, Hasz returned to transform that notion into something appropriate for San Francisco. Much of the furniture he had shipped from Europe.
Hasz cites his design influences as articulating what he would want to go and enjoy, himself. He is looking for a space to develop as a modern steakhouse, and another space to develop a downtown sandwich shop.
"I like a very personal touch," Hasz said. "Alleyways are definitely better. I don’t like being on a big one-way street."
Recognizing Hasz’s sense for architecture, Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed him to the city and county of San Francisco Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board in June.
"The physical look of the city is so predicated on our older buildings," Hasz explained. "It’s the biggest asset of San Francisco."
Besides design and construction, Hasz is involved in a number of civic projects, including founding the non-profit Pro-Impact, a grant writing organization that gets NFL players involved in community development, and Adopt-a-Median — a program that allows local businesses and familiesto adopt street medians, plant and maintain them.
Hasz graduated from Chico State University with a B.A. in Construction Management in 1994. Prior to starting Hasz Construction, Hasz worked for Royal Electric Company, Decker Electric, and Gaul Construction. Always a man for doing the whole job, Hasz traces his career in building and design to his junior year in high school, when he bought a beat-up 1957 MGA convertible from his grandfather for $1.
"The joke in the family is that I overpaid for it," Hasz said. "Every single nut and bolt came off that thing." After a year, though, Hasz had the shiny red vehicle he still drives today.
New project: Several projects with Chip Conely and his Joie de Virve crew
Last project: Farina, Italian Cucina and Foccia, opening in May
Number of e-mails a day: A couple hundred
Number of voice mails a day: 30 or 40
Best perk: Creating a space and a vibe, it is so fulfilling
Gadgets: Motorola Q, everything for my mobile lifestyle
Education: Chico State School of Construction Management
Last conference: International Contemporary Furniture Fair
First job: Building custom homes with my father at 10 years old
Original aspiration: Starting catcher for the Dodgers
Career objective: Do more work in the wine country, such a regal venue
Likes: Experiences that get the adrenaline pumping
Dislikes: ‘The interview’ date conversation. Where are you from, what do you do ... it’s so painful
Defining quirks: Energy. A friend says I have a hummingbird heart
Hometown: Woodland Hills, L.A.
Sports/hobbies: Windsurfing, surfing, skiing, hockey, mountain biking, golfing, swimming, running
Transportation: 1957 MGA, completely restored it while in high school
Vacation spot: My friends own a secluded eco/surf resort in Costa Rica, Bosque Del Cabo.
Role Model: My parents
Reading: Soul on Ice, writings of Eldrige Cleaver
Worst fear: Becoming boring