Projects: Commercial

543 Howard Street

San Francisco, CA

The Intent

The new owner of the 543 Howard Street building, a 1920's warehouse, wanted to give new life and a new purpose to the building. The project converted the underutilized structure into a mix of uses, of office and non-office space, while retaining the building's character. Comprehensive upgrades were needed to meet current codes and tenant needs. Additional stories were planned to further optimize land use in the high priced real estate of downtown San Francisco.

The Solution

The addition of two stories onto the existing structure provided 50% more available tenant space. KTA retained the building's original concrete façade and designed the new levels sympathetic to the original building yet with their own unique character. The resulting structure has a height and mass that blends well with neighboring structures. KTA designed a new core serving both uses, including new stairways, restrooms, elevators and lobbies.

Use of the existing maple wood floors and exposed concrete beams and columns meets the goal of maximum material reuse while preserving the space's natural beauty. Recycled heavy timbers and flooring, non-toxic finishes and materials with a high recycled content further enhance the original architectural character in an environmentally friendly manner. Energy conscious features -- passive solar design, sun shading, and clean energy emergency generators -- have been incorporated in the design.

A large operable skylight provides daylight and fresh air to office interiors. Access to the building's large rooftop provides an open, sunny area with views of San Francisco.

Seismic and ADA upgrades are to be completed along with structural reinforcement and the addition of full fire prevention, electrical, and energy efficient mechanical ventilation systems.

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