Set along Octavia Boulevard, lots M+N are among the most challenging of the 22 development parcels created when the Central Freeway was removed. The 120-foot-wide parcels are just 18 feet deep, defying typical housing configurations.
This headquarters for Durie Tangri, a law firm specializing in intellectual property, occupy the lower two floors of a turn-of-the-century mercantile building steps away from San Francisco’s iconic Transamerica Tower. envelope A+D transformed this historic structure with design a strategy rooted in the law firm’s mostly tech-related clients.
The spatial aspect of office prioritize openness and transparency: providing visual access while allowing for aural privacy where required for client confidentiality. Architectural expressions of the building systems, including the heavy-timber structural frame, venting ducts, sprinklers and data cabling, are treated as a kind of information with varying degrees of legibility throughout the varied spaces composing the offices.
On the main level, green rubber flooring defines more public meeting and reception spaces. On the upper floor, partner offices ring a central collaborative space defined by a “pool” of blue rubber. Collaborative spaces figure highly throughout the offices, supporting the firm’s need to actively collaborate in the crafting of new intellectual property laws in the territories of tech, web and biotechnology law. These flexible spaces promote casual group engagement through diverse postures from clustered seating focused on large white board walls to intimate couch-rooms to more traditional library-type work tables.
Crane Court Residence
Single Family Home
The Crane Court Residence began with a puzzle: how to resolve our client’s desire to have an inward-facing private courtyard house with the fact of a significantly sloping site with compelling outward facing views. The project solves the puzzle with a transformation of the courtyard house type, stepped to conform to the sloping site and with vertical surfaces opened to engage the interior living spaces with the experience of site. The result is a house that steps gracefully down the hillside with bedroom wings tucked under the primary living areas. The top surface of the lower bedroom volume creates an elevated rooftop terrace, protected on two sides and focused towards a distant view of the valley. The space of the living room focuses on a view of meadow on a prominent ridgeline, while the dining room and entry sequence nestles into the sheltered intimate undercanopy of a grove of existing Live Oaks.
Designed for a glazier and his family, the house is designed with maximum transparency to the near and distant views of the site. The solid components of the envelope are either cast-in-place concrete, as it rises from the ground, or a wood veneered phenolic rainscreen, which define the primary volumes of the building. The roof, gutters and eave edges are formed copper sheeting. The siting of the house was done to nestle the house into clusters of existing trees. The landscape design preferences the native California hillscape of Live Oaks and tall grasses.