Page C1.1 . 13 February 2013   
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    Warehouse Loft Conversion

    by Frank Anton & Gordon Goff

    Under the San Francisco South Beach Redevelopment Plan of 1981, the Oriental Warehouse was designated an historic landmark due to its historical value as the early arrival point of Oriental immigrants.

    The brick warehouse, originally built in 1868, with a total area of 88,000 square feet (8,200 square meters) on two floors had for many years been used as a warehouse and storage space.

    After nearly a decade of negotiations between historic preservationists and various owners of the building, Fisher-Friedman Associates secured the necessary approvals from the Landmarks Preservation Board and the San Francisco Planning Commission to convert the warehouse into 66 spacious live/work lofts.

    The 125-year-old brick structure required substantial seismic upgrades and the addition of windows to provide the natural light necessary for residential units. In addition, on the aggregated plan, the adjacent L-shaped property supports an additional 38 unit, five-story structure as well as two 18-story buildings with recreational facilities and some retail space.

    The loft conversion was constructed beginning in 1995, and all 66 units sold immediately.

    Rodney Friedman — Modern Housing Architect
    Perspective by Frank Anton

    For more than forty years, when it comes to housing design, Rodney Friedman has been the irresistible force to the mainstream housing industry's immoveable object.

    For more than thirty of those years, first as editor of Builder magazine, the leading magazine for that mainstream industry, and currently as CEO of Hanley Wood, the leading publisher for the construction industry, I've had a front row seat to that battle royale. I'll have to admit that I've always been pulling for Rodney to win.

    The back-and-forth battle began in the 1960s. Back then builders in California were throwing up drab tract houses as fast as they could. Rodney countered with a community of single family houses called Sunset San Marin. These affordable homes had sleek, wood exteriors and exciting, open interior spaces. No flat ceilings and undersized windows. The battle was joined.   >>>

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    This article is excerpted from In Praise of Pragmatsim: Fisher Friedman Associates 1964-2010: Multidisciplinary Designs by Rodney Friedman, with permission of the publisher, ORO Editions.

    ArchWeek Image

    Fisher Friedman Associates (FFA) designed the Golden Gateway Commons (1976), a three-block mixed-use development in downtown San Francisco, California that provides 155 condominium units organized around second-floor courtyards. Parking, commercial, and office spaces occupy a tall ground-floor level.
    Courtesy ORO editions Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    To create the Oriental Warehouse Lofts (1996), also in San Francisco, California, FFA adapted a two-story 1867 import warehouse building into a four-story residential structure.
    Courtesy ORO editions Extra Large Image


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