Confidential Client

San Francisco, California

For one of our client’s main offices, we transformed two floors of a 1970’s high-rise into a contemporary, elegant, and sophisticated space. Custom detailing and a warm material palette combine with a private art collection and sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay to create an unforgettable experience. We put wellness at the core of the design, with a cafe, on-site fitness center with a personal trainer, and biophilic elements that connect people to nature woven throughout the workplace, which sets a new standard for our client’s offices nationally.

“The building is rectangular, so we’ve introduced soft curves, achieved through custom millwork, that soften up the experience,” says design principal Lara Leskaj. Crafting an airy, energetic space in an older building with low ceilings was a key challenge for the team, who took inspiration from an approach used in residential and hospitality design where ceiling heights are altered to create an effect of openness in key spaces.

Tying it all together

A grand staircase connects the upper reception and welcoming area with the cafe and meeting spaces below, creating a welcoming link between the office’s two floors. We crafted the staircase as a series of plinths integrated with built-in benches and planters. The plants, which we selected for their ability to thrive in the office’s light levels, combine with ample wood millwork and views of the bay and mountains beyond to connect people with nature. Distinctive orb lights hang from the ceiling in a cascade that mirrors the descent of the staircase, another bespoke adjustment made by our team.

a sketch of a staircase with surrounding plants
Where craft meets clarity

Throughout the design process, we sought to establish a visual language that would feel natural in the context of the San Francisco Bay Area. Light oak wraps the space and is incorporated into custom built-ins and desks. Tapered stone tabletops complement chairs and benches bound in russet-colored leather, while art and foliage liven up the office’s two floors.

The Executive areas continue the use of light oak finishes and soft curves in custom millwork workspaces. Lacquer panels repeating the linear language found in the reception area obscure the full-height closet doors that keep printers, storage and supplies out of sight but easily accessible when needed.

The floor-to-ceiling custom light oak millwork in each Executive office allows for personalization by accommodating individual preferences for artwork, accessories, and storage requirements. In addition to a large table desk, each office has a soft seating area with AV capabilities tailored to support various conversation styles.

The main boardroom and its adjacent break-out space are intentionally located to celebrate views of the iconic Bay Bridge and Embarcadero.
A wellness-first workplace

Our team worked with the client’s personal trainer to design a 5,000-square-foot private fitness center that includes cardio and circuit training, a golf simulator, and men’s and women’s locker rooms. Healthy meals and snacks are catered daily and served at an on-site cafe.

Movement throughout the day is prompted by adjustable height desks at all workstations, an interconnecting staircase, and a diversity of postures provided by a variety of work-settings around the office.

Project Team

Lara Leskaj
Fred Schmidt