Sometimes, the best spaces are made by simply cleaning out the closets and letting the daylight in. When BAR Architects decided to move headquarters to the Northern Waterfront of San Francisco, the firm decided to make the most of the floor plate while reinforcing the office wide culture of collaborative and sustainable design. Cleaning out the dingy maze of rooms left by previous tenants uncovered the graceful structure of the historic concrete cigar factory.
Widespread office participation during the design process outlined better ways to work together: comfortable informal spaces for spontaneous brainstorming sessions, workstations made entirely of recycled materials, a large common kitchen that doubles as informal meeting and gathering spaces, and enough bicycle racks to make coming to work healthy and fun. All staff throughout the office enjoy daylight and views. Graceful canopies of sustainably harvested wood integrate circulation with conference spaces physically and metaphorically, expanding space through transparency, a core philosophy of the practice. Fundamentally one firm/one space, BAR Architects eliminated walls, creating a place for clients and teams to inspire one another.