SANF January 2017 : Page 46

THE LOOKER HEADQUARTERS A terrace on the building’s Harrison Street side offers views of the Bay Bridge. TEF’s interior design strategy emphasized communal workspaces with generous amounts of natural light. Office as Oasis A once-drab building’s metamorphosis marks a new day in workplace design. By Lauren Murrow Since the 1940s, the uninspiring con-crete box of 375 Beale Street has been a perfunctory container for the nec-essary, rather unsexy businesses that have churned through its interior. Originally constructed as a navy sup-ply warehouse during World War II, the fortresslike structure has since served as a mail-sorting facility, a server farm, and a drug evidence lab (OK, that one’s kind of sexy). So when Gerry Tierney, associate prin-cipal architect at Perkins + Will, was tasked with turning the eight-story edifice into an airy and inviting multiuse office space, he knew the transformation needed to be radical. “It was gloomy, almost abandoned,” he recalls. “We didn’t want these work-ers to feel like they were being sent to prison.” The top four floors of the build-ing were slated to be the holistic new workplace for the Bay Area Head-quarters Authority, a contingent of regional planning agencies includ-ing the Metropolitan Transporta-tion Commission, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the Association of Bay Area Gov-ernments. Perkins + Will teamed up with interior design firm TEF to con-vert a bleak mail-sorting center into a setting conducive to innovation and collaboration. They had their work cut out for them. Each of the eight floors spans 64,000 square feet—roughly the size of Union Square, says Tierney. With such a wide footprint, natural light FROM TOP: BLAKE MARVIN; DAVID WAKELY 46 San Francisco | January 2017

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