San Francisco-based IwamotoScott Architecture has just shared their latest project with us – a renavoted 1940s warehouse that holds media company Obscura Digital as well as the architects’ new office space. Upgrading from an unorganized and dimly lit timber warehouse, Obscura looked to Lisa Iwamoto and Craig Scott to outfit the 36,000 sqf building in Dogpatch to suite their needs, while extending the invitation for the firm to set up its practice in the building, as well. “It wasn’t a formalized agreement but a pretty casual thing,” Iwamoto told Lydia Lee for Metropolis. “Obscura by nature is collaborative. The hope is that by sharing space, we’ll have the advantage of seeing their process and what can be done with digital media, and they’ll get an idea of the architectural possibilities.” In addition to this great refurbishment, we are fascinated by the architects’ dividing wall entitled BookCaseScreenWall, an amazing hybrid of surface projection technologies with a “traditional” bookcase which sits between their office space and Obscura Digital’s. Be sure to view our comprehensive photo set of construction photos, finished work, and of course, the BookCaseScreenWall after the break.
For the 36,000 sqf project, the architects created a double height lower level to serve as a showroom. Working within the constraints of a tight budget, the firm decided to cut expenses by reusing metal railings and keeping the existing carpeting. This allowed the firm to splurge on the project’s focal point – the black bamboo clad conference room which rests above the double height first floor. We love the use of materials, especially the raw finishes of the wood teamed with the metal stairs and exposed structure, and the dramatic conference room with its crinkled metal cladding and sharp interior tones.
While Obscura Digital’s management offices are clad in translucent PolyGal, larger open gathering areas reflect the company’s “casual culture” and allow light into the spaces. IwamotoScott’s working spaces overlook the bustling activity of the lower floor and are separated from Obscura Digital’s section with their BookCaseScreenWall.
The screen is a pixelated/projected form which responds to the views and movement along the walkway. The dividing element is constructed from laser-cut, powder-coated folded sheet metal modules that are suspended from laser-cut sheet metal ribs mounted with beam clamps to a structural wide flange beam. The screen provides a visually compelling element to the office space which works with the atmosphere of both companies.
The project is a great accomplishment for the young firm as it marries a sleek sophisticated style within a tight budget while meeting functional demands. If this project offers a preview of the firm’s built work, we can’t wait to see more!