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666 Howard

San Francisco, California

Client Goals

This four-story, masonry and heavy timber building was originally designed to house manufacturing and retail use on the first and basement levels, and office space on the two upper floors. The clients wanted to convert the entire building for office use and to maximize the space for multiple tenants.

Design Focus

The building needed structural retrofit. In collaboration with the engineers, we focused on a structural system that allowed the beauty of the original materials to remain as the primary visual focal point.


We revealed the beauty, color and texture of the original materials be stripping away many years of paint from the heavy timbers and brick walls. The engineers designed an interior steel structural system to brace the masonry walls and to supplement the timber construction during an earthquake.

We added a new penthouse with front and rear decks and a solarium to expand the rental capacity by 20 percent, and we completed the building renovation with the design of the space planning and interiors for the five floors of offices.