envelope A+D

envelope A+D

Berkeley, CA


The Pilara Family Foundation Pier 24 Photo Warehouse

Before envelope A+D’s comprehensive renovation to house a critically acclaimed, private photography collection, this historic San Francisco pier structure went unoccupied for nearly three decades. The design respects the raw warehouse quality of the 28,000-square-foot historic structure and posits a more dynamic relationship between storage and display.

Pedestrians enter Pier 24 directly off the Embarcadero promenade, accessing the warehouse via a defunct rail-spur between the piers. Photographic works are viewed in active storage, distributed throughout the warehouse in a matrix of room-size gallery "boxes.” Intentional gaps between gallery walls open up views between the boxes, offering glimpses to spaces and photographic works beyond. The expansive timber ceiling structure, cleaned and lightly stained, infuses the space with a quiet drama. Windows replace walls on the bayside corner of the warehouse in the “living room,” where visitors get a stunning panoramic view of the bay and the receding span of the Bay Bridge.

Images © Richard Barnes

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Status: Built
Location: San Francisco, CA, US