178 Townsend

This adaptive re-use of a historic landmark building proposes to preserve the original exterior masonry walls and heavy timber trusses while adding 78 loft-type residences into and above the historic shell. A pair of five-story structures, inset from the masonry walls on the lower floors and cantilevered over the existing roofline, clearly and distinctly differentiate the two types of construction. The sleek lines of the housing units are further articulated by a skin of translucent and opaque fritted glass, aluminum, and photovoltaic spandrel panels, accentuating a striking contrast to the thick weathered brick wall perimeter. Preserved roof trusses support a new glass clad canopy for an enclosed entry court.

location San Francisco, CA
Completed 2012


  • 2007 AIA San Francisco Merit Award for an Unbuilt Design