845 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, California
Situated along the northern edge of San Francisco’s Jackson Square Historic District, and abutting the landmark neighborhoods of North Beach, Telegraph Hill, and the Financial District, this historic property is being restored, preserved and renovated into 13 luxurious condominium apartments.
The owners purchased the property with planning entitlements, permits, and the structural steel to construct a 5-story office and commercial project. With the assistance of Sagan Piechota Architecture, a concept was developed for the present residential use, and LDA was engaged to work with the owners’ selected general contractor to develop and execute the project.
The design responds to the visual cues of the original 1910 Albert Pissis design. Additions and alterations made throughout the life of building were removed and historic photos were researched to restore long-lost elements. The design of the project has been brought into conformance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, and meets with the approval of San Francisco Architectural Heritage.
The 2-story addition is clad in limestone panels, to recall a color and material prevalent on this and other buildings of the early San Francisco era. This light and neutrally colored masonry was also chosen to provide both a contrast with the original construction, and a minimally imposing silhouette against the skyline – both requisites of the Standards for Rehabilitation.
Interiors are laid out to provide for efficient and constructable engineering, and to provide the richness required to command high market prices. The layouts and finishes are decidedly modern, but elements of the original brick building and its new structure will be allowed to read through in order to tie the old in with the new.
A new storefront façade reopens a ground floor commercial rental space once obscured by an inconguous series of brick archways, and gains entry to the secure residential lobby. Private gardens cascade across the various planes of a stepped roofscape. Glassy greenhouses cap the private access stairs that rise out of the upper floor town-houses, and glass balustrades are used to soften their appearance and allow the original brick structure dominate the scene.