100 California Lobby
San Francisco, California

The lobby renovation for San Francisco landmark building, 100 California Street, shifts the traditional paradigm of a lobby as a transitory space into a destination itself. Not only does the project update the aesthetics of the space, it has transformed the lobby into a vibrant building amenity.

The project team studied the site extensively to determine natural traffic flows and building access routes when considering the renovation. The new plan relocates the security checkpoint and infrastructure and transitions this role from ‘guard’ to ‘concierge’ providing a more welcoming experience for tenants and visitors. The relocation of this element opened up the remainder of the space to provide a variety of flexible and active spaces.

At the rear of the lobby, tucked under the dramatic, 30 foot angular ceiling soffit, is a flexible space with three vignettes to provide a variety of sitting and meeting postures.

“The revitalized lobby and new EOT center are instrumental to our reintroduction of the new 100 Cal to the market and enhancing the property experience for tenants.”
- Andrew Dankwerth, Senior Vice President, Pembroke Real Estate

At the window line we have included banquette seating and tables to serve as overflow seating for tenants who have just frequented the adjacent restaurants. This space has been designed to function as space for groups of 2-3 or for singular, heads-down work.

At the rear of the lobby, tucked under the dramatic, 30 foot angular ceiling soffit, is a flexible space with three vignettes to provide a variety of sitting and

meeting postures.  Custom folded steel fins enclose the space while allowing light to penetrate. Used as both a horizontal and vertical element, the installation works to draw the eye to the folded plane above. The steel fins have been designed to create a moire effect when walking past to engage the visitors not only when standing in place but when moving through the lobby.

Soft seating creates miniature living rooms and are paired with bar height work tables to create a dynamic, topographical and multi-use space. All spaces are equipped with power and wifi throughout to support today’s mobile workers.

Quality and authentic materials were key to the project identity. Additionally, it was critical to Pembroke Real Estate, the building ownership, that the material and design decisions reflect a timeless approach. The floors are honed English stone and walnut; cold-rolled steel and walnut make the concierge desk; and impact-resistant, custom scored lime plaster provides warmth to the bright space while emphasizing quality and durability.

A custom light fixture is the focal point of the entire lobby. Picking up on all of the angular expressions implemented elsewhere in the space, it was designed to feel like a 3D sketch in space. The design of the fixture went through many iterations with each iteration reducing the element further until it was only as much as needed to demonstrate the lightness and fluidity of a hand sketch in space.

Roll over the photo to see the initial concept rendering.

Roll over the photo to see the logo embedded in elevator doors.

During the programming and investigation phase of the project, the team uncovered original photographs and drawings of the building which served as a terrific inspiration in the revitalization of the building.  Originally constructed as Bethlehem Steel’s west coast headquarters, the building was at one time the tallest building in San Francisco. A symbol of post-war American industry, the design team was inspired to bring this sense of optimism back to the building within the context of the new

industry that defines the Bay Area. During demolition the original Bethlehem Steel logo was discovered embedded into the stainless steel of the elevators. The ownership and design team chose to retain this symbol of the past and highlight it as part of the renovation. A respectful nod to the building’s origins was also provided in the elevator cabs with each cab having a posterized version of the historic photos created by Volume Inc.

Located in a dark and previously un-used basement space, the new End-of-Trip (EOT) center is a unique amenity space for tenants that provides bike parking, showers, and lockers.  With a goal of making a best-in-class EOT to support San Francisco’s ever-growing bicyclist population, Blitz

worked with bike consultant Bikes Make Life Better and analyzed existing bike amenities throughout downtown San Francisco (such as bike lanes and repair shops) as part of early programming research. With the new EOT center Blitz created a bright and welcoming space that belies its basement location.

 

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