In 2010, Gensler architects were brought on to develop an entire block of San Francisco’s rapidly developing southern financial district. The goal of the property being to attract new retail and workplace tenants and to engage the community. To attract retail tenants, Gensler repositioned the building by opening up the two lobbies with new glazing and adjoining outdoor seating, partly protected by a glass canopy. Sustainability was an important focus of this project that would later go on to earn LEED-EB Gold and Energy Star certifications.
As part of the projects sustainable direction, the outdoor seating areas and tables were built using environmentally friendly Kebony Clear wood that was coated in a Penofin seal. While sealing Kebony is not necessary – when left natural it weathers to a beautiful silver/gray patina – it can be done to maintain the original brown color if desired. The photographs seen here were actually taken 8 years after this projects construction, demonstrating the remarkable strength and durability of Kebony as well as what is achievable if one should choose to seal it upon installation.
This development proved to be a remarkable success as a sustainable, open-air community center, placed in the heart of economic and urban growth.