Chronicle Books Headquarters
MEP Engineer: Mazzetti & Associates Inc.
Structural Engineer: Murphy Burr Curry, Inc.
Acoustics: Charles M. Salter Associates Inc.
Lighting Consultant: Silverman + Light, Inc.
Specifications: Stansen Specifications
General Contractor: Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Co
Artwork by Georgia June Goldberg
Chronicle Books, a popular San Francisco-based publishing company, needed a new home. With brick walls, heavy timber structure and shed roof, the historic 1920’s building had character and a great location in the South End Historic District; however, the four separate floor plates and high-tech feel of newer additions did not reflect the needs of its new owner. The client utilizes a very horizontal structure with a great deal of interaction between departments; however the vertical building offers four relatively small footprints. The rehabilitation needed to house 225 people within 54,000 SF. Above all, it needed to reflect their strong communal values, foster innovation and reflect the company’s unique relationship to books.
A primary objective of the project was to create multi-dimensional connection within the current structure of the organization, while achieving flexibility to meet their evolving needs in the future. In support of the office’s work flow, new circulation between floors provides intuitive access and visual connections.
The client’s image is immediately apparent when entering the ground floor lobby. A tall wood wall with varying blue stain, a nod to the client’s brand color, provides a backdrop for activities within the open area. The adjacent corten steel wall curves towards the elevator bank that provides passage to the upper floors. The scale of the wood wall and materiality of the steel provide a framework against the existing brick, historic grand doors and wood ceiling. From book signings and openings to town hall meetings, this space allows for constant activities as well as an iconographic image for the passing street traffic.