SAN FRANCISCO, CA
soma vertical addition
72,000 SQ. FT.
Thoughtful design is sometimes a matter of fixing an architectural weakness that has been there for decades. This large office building, constructed in 1972, lacked an entrance on a well-travelled San Francisco street. Entry was gained from a back alley, through a dark, nondescript lobby; it made you feel as though you were sneaking into the building.
The building’s new owner wanted to add value by re-developing the property into “Class A” office space. One part of this upgrade was to add four stories to the building’s top and open the corners, in the process accentuating views to the bay, the landmark Ferry Building clock tower, and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. This skillful addition is a big move, but Brereton made sure it made financial and urban design sense by re-considering the building’s secretive entry. “The solution was studied at an urban level,” explains Brereton Director of Architecture Michael J. Castro. How could the building become more of an asset to the city and add to the street life just outside its walls? The answer is the new welcoming, highly refined new lobby accessible from the busy thoroughfare.
The new entrance is announced on the street with an elegant glass canopy. Inside, the lobby is a veritable gallery, with a two-story space just inside the door, rendered with elegant wood wall paneling and Minnesota limestone flooring to create the perfect setting for the commissioned artworks in this new space.
Photography: Cesar Rubio