Los Angeles, CA
Marmol Radziner received the commission to renovate TBWA\Chiat\Day's new 27,000 square-foot, multi-story brick office space in San Francisco’s Embarcadero district. The client’s vision for the new work spaces included creating an entry that engages visitors and staff, expanding the vertical connection between floors, infusing the building with natural light, fostering a collaborative work environment, and distinguishing this office from other advertising agencies as well as other TBWA\Chiat\Day branches.
Rooted in the narrative of the extant building and the layers below street level, Marmol Radziner’s design concept takes the site’s history as a point of departure. Remains of ships were found underneath the old warehouse complexes and harbor, which for the firm, was an added visual allusion. Today, the former warehouse district is an active neighborhood of advertising agencies, public relations firms, and dot.com companies, where ideas rather than cargo are traded.
The architectural forms and materials reference the ships buried beneath the building as well as the cargo crates stored in the former warehouse. The selection of finishes and flooring materials – including seagrass mats, cork, Douglas Fir planking, plywood wall panels and workstations, tackable burlap wall panels, and steel cable-railing systems – was informed by metaphors of ships and industrial shipping canisters. What were once crates for cargo have become translucent containers in the form of workstations, project rooms, and private offices. Low, box-like sofas allude to containment, as they are modular, moveable, and informal, and the custom furniture was designed to encourage people to sit in a relaxed manner, conducive for the flow of ideas.
Location: San Francisco, CA, US