Bohlin Cywinski Jackson moved from Berkeley to San Francisco in early 2006. The new, larger office is centrally located in downtown San Francisco along Market and Geary Streets, one block east of Union Square in a building noted for its highly regarded art galleries and rare book shops.
The office is located in a space stripped of all previous improvements to expose the raw board-formed concrete columns and deck. The column grid is the underlying framework for organizing the space, existing concrete structure is expressed as artifact. Bits of plaster and echoes of former partitions reveal countless changes to the building over its 90-year history.
To reflect the collaborative nature of the firm, the office was designed as a single open studio, supported by adjacent team meeting areas and support spaces. The simple, axial plan organizes workstations in two rows along existing columns, with crisp maple plywood panels providing a distinct contrast to the raw concrete of the space.
Simple linear light fixtures provide rhythmic and balanced illumination to the concrete ceiling and workstations. Windows flanking both sides of the studio—north windows face an interior light well and south facing windows looking out to the city along Market Street provide ample daylight.
The entry to the office doubles as gallery space to display models, drawings, and photographs in a nod to the building’s other arts-oriented tenants. This powerful space celebrates the raw nature of the original construction while offering a collegial, collaborative space for the firm’s California team.