The money behind exclusive private members’ club The Battery in San Francisco is Michael Birch, who sold social networking site Bebo to AOL for $850 million and then bought it back for $1 million just for kicks when it went belly up. He’s also the kind of guy who will be relaxing there after a hard day at the computer screen; tech professionals with a bank account full of zeros in the right places may successfully navigate the mysterious membership process at The Battery, but the rest of you mere mortals will have to make do with pressing your nose against the glass with us.
Architects Fee Munson Ebert worked on the former marble factory with interior designer Ken Fulk, and the aim was to create a bridge between old world San Francisco and the new money centre of entrepreneurialism it is today. “We wanted it to feel like an extension of a member’s home,” says Fulk, although of course that depends on what kind of a mansion you’re used to living in. Non-members are able to book one of The Battery’s 14 boutique hotel rooms, including the penthouse which comes with it’s own roof deck, for a taste of how the other half (or more like the 0.5%) live.