801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects

801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects

801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects - Exterior Photography, Windows, Facade801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects - Interior Photography, Handrail801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects - Exterior Photography, Windows, Facade801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects - Exterior Photography, Windows, Facade801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects - More Images+ 7

  • Client : Shab Farzaneh
  • Contractor : Vallee Builders
  • City : Danville
  • Country : United States
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801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects - Exterior Photography, Facade, Windows
© Bruce Damonte

Text description provided by the architects. When beginning the renovation of a nearly empty 1970's office building in the California suburb of Danville, Sidell Pakravan Architects thought they had a clear understanding of a primarily interior scope. The program called for modest upgrades to the exterior, with some of the most unattractive elements toned down or removed, new paint, and plantings. Instead, they found a collaborative journey with a forward-thinking Building Department and an adventurous client, leading to a bold design that has transformed the building's value and the suburban corner lot where it sits.

801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects - Exterior Photography, Windows, Facade
© Bruce Damonte
801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects - Exterior Photography, Windows, Facade
© Bruce Damonte

During the first Design Review Board meeting, the Architects expected that Danville would require adding more elements to align with the gold rush vernacular architecture prevalent in the area. Much to their surprise, the board challenged the Architects and the owner to overhaul the building in a more contemporary style that would fit the city's context and stand apart. The client was on board. The building underwent a total transformation, resulting in a new identity for what was once a bland, underutilized structure. The design strategy incorporated a new envelope for the existing structure and an addition of a bold volumetric statement that remains sensitive to the materials, history, and scale of the neighborhood. The new building immediately drew praise from the city, and a new roster of tenants moved in.

801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects - Interior Photography, Handrail
© Bruce Damonte

As a study in the physical layers of the building envelope, the design strategy adds another layer to Danville's "San Francisco Stick" architectural history. San Francisco Stick style of the late 1800's used simple wood strips to decorate facades dominated by the classic rectangular bay windows. Although the style is easily recognized for its decorative qualities, it is best understood as a result of the wood technology of the time. Because the style used a widely available material in a simple decorative strategy that allowed lots of variety, it reflects the type of wood milled during a time of rapid growth. With interest in how wood technology can foster an aesthetic language, this design uses new vertical wood boards and protruding window volumes to evoke the architecture of Danville's historic downtown.  

801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects - Image 12 of 12
1st Floor Plan
801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects - Image 10 of 12
Second Floor Plan

Contemporary wood mills and forestry stewardship make available an inspiring range of wood species, scales, and textures. Adding a new layer to the San Francisco Stick language, this design also layers these contemporary technology products over classic California wood construction. This building has a simple wood structure enclosed in a rich, complex, multi-layered wrapper.   

801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects - Exterior Photography, Windows, Facade
© Bruce Damonte

For the structure, both the existing 8,000 square-foot building and the new 3,000 square-foot addition have a two-story wood-framed structure over a concrete slab on grade. The wood framing is a mix of conventional Douglas Fir joists and studs, Glulam beams, and "Red Built" open web trusses made of engineered wood and steel. The first layer of the building skin is the original T-111 siding; itself a layer in the history lesson of wood technology. The next layer is a cedar rain screen finished with a sustainable mineral sealant.

801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects - Exterior Photography, Windows, Facade
© Bruce Damonte

It wraps the existing and the new building volume. At the ground level, painted cedar shake boxes introduce another texture and scale, giving the building a new heft while providing much-needed storage. Wood re-purposed from a dying deodar cedar tree on the site was used to make guardrails, door handles, and stair treads. Similarly, the dominant bay windows have been reinterpreted in a modern scale that responds to the increasingly suburban scale. The completed project is home to various medical and dental practices and is now a bustling healthcare hub for the community.  

801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects - Exterior Photography, Windows, Facade
© Bruce Damonte

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Project location

Address:801 San Ramon Valley Blvd, Danville, CA 94526, United States

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About this office
Cite: "801 San Ramon Valley / Sidell Pakravan Architects" 30 Oct 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/971063/801-san-ramon-valley-sidell-pakravan-architects> ISSN 0719-8884

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