Confidential Investment Advisor Offices – San Francisco

MacCracken Architects has created a new sense of space for a confidential investment advisor firm located in San Francisco, California.

After many years in a traditional downtown office space, an investment advisor group focusing on environmentally conscious organizations needed a workspace that aligned with their values. They purchased a rustic four-story brick and timber building constructed in the early part of last century. Much of the original detailing had been stripped from the building interior, due to the previous tenant’s need for enclosed offices, a movie screening room, and other enclosed spaces. The building spans through a mid-block parcel providing two glazed street elevations, and then surprisingly, is taller than both neighbors allowing for multiple property line windows. Due to these factors and large skylights on the upper floor it is blessed with a generous amount of light, but the existing layout didn’t take advantage of it, with segmented space and a very dark lower floor.

MacCracken Architects came with a vision of renovation to celebrate the brick and timber of the original structure, revealing original hidden Douglas Fir columns and exposing the steel connections of a recent seismic retrofit. Skylights were relocated to brighten up areas with limited window light in ways that best aligned with the workspace layout without creating glare or overheating. Private offices where acoustically designed, yet retained a frameless glass wall facing the circulation, balancing between acoustic privacy and visual connections. Circulation routes now provide clear views from one elevation through the building to the other, tying each space to the exterior and downtown beyond. Walls previously blocking views of exterior windows were removed to create open views and areas for collaboration.

The main internal staircase connecting the two upper floors was previously very utilitarian but were transformed as a centerpiece of the workspace’s design. The opening between floors was enlarged at the sacrifice of square footage and capped with the largest of the relocated skylights to filter sunlight into the lower floor space. Upgrades included widening space at the bottom landing, replacing rails, and installing decorative pendant fixtures illuminating the vestibule. At the base a steel planter surrounded collaborative workspace is available for use by all staff.

Finally, in a strategic partnership with Urban Timberworks, the boardroom was furnished with a custom AV ready live edge wooden table and pre-finished flooring from local west coast sources creates a real connection to the products and companies in which the client invests. A custom reception desk sets the tone from the 4th Floor entry and uses the same stacked wood vernacular as the wooden privacy panels separating general circulation from private open workstation spaces.

ArchitectMacCracken Architects
Contractor: Rossi Builders
Project Manager: officemorph
Photography: Architectural Media