Conversion of former tobacco warehouse and sweatshop into urban loft living
The project rehabilitated a former tobacco warehouse and sewing sweatshop into a premier residential building in this dynamic San Francisco neighbourhood. One South Park contains 35-unit residential homes and a 5,000-sq-ft commercial space. Built in 1926, the structure is located at the corner of South Park, a small historic oval park that anchors the neighbourhood of low and mid-rise buildings in the SOMA district of San Francisco.
Respecting the historic fabric of the building, but needing to bring light and air into the interior, two curving courtyards were created. One courtyard was inserted in the centre which also functions as the circulation core. Another court to the west created exposure for otherwise dark interior units. As part of the adaptive reuse, the existing first floor was lowered, creating street-level commercial spaces and a parking garage.
The existing tall railroad spur expression is maintained and highlighted by insetting the window glazing and the through the use of large lites. A partial penthouse floor was added with setbacks, preventing any new shadows from falling onto the park and in turn making it barely visible from the street below. The additional penthouse level allowed for the creation of 9 two-storey units with roof decks. Key details of the building’s past were identified and integrated with the modern updates to provide the latest in comfortable living spaces.
The unit interiors celebrate the concrete structure, industrial sash windows, and arched ceiling openings. An outside terrace preserves the historic loading dock creating an urban patio directly accessible from the sidewalk. The new exterior walls are concrete with large commercial glazing complementing but not mimicking the existing windows. The tall ceilings and modern kitchens and baths create comfortable living spaces bringing life back to the building.