Grand Award: Warehouse to Wowhouse

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Making use of green-building practices, a rundown turn-of-the-century brewing company warehouse is transformed into strikingly designed office space and a restaurant/bar.

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Location: San Francisco

Contractor: Dan Pelsinger and Dan Matarozzi, Matarozzi/Pelsinger Builders, San Francisco

Designer: Aidlin Darling Design, San Francisco

The structure of this turn-of-the-century brewing company warehouse serves as the framework for a new building envelope and interior that now houses offices and an organic restaurant/bar. “The intent was to keep and refurbish two of the things that had any value: the concrete foundation and the Douglas fir post-and-beam structure,” says Joshua Aidlin, who was on the project team.

Since the building is on the National Register of Historic Places, the city’s planning department placed strict limitations on the fenestration and on the corrugated siding. But light and air were needed. The solution: replace the original siding with a zinc skin perforated with small holes that allow light and air to pass through to new windows hidden behind.

Inside, a minimal number of elements were integrated into the existing structure. Metal and glass apertures inserted into the original frame open up the interior. The largest of these areas is a bridge traversing the two-story lobby terminating as a reception desk for second-floor offices. The designers also used a number of sustainable building strategies (see "Good Bones"). Judges praised the “exceptional design that retains the [original] materiality but reinvents it.”

—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.