888 Brannan

CompanyGensler
Lead DesignerCollin Burry
ClientCollin Burry
Prize(s)3rd Place in Architecture Categories / Renovation
Entry Description

The original 1917 building at the corner of 8th and
Brannan was constructed for the National Carbide
Company to house their Eveready Battery industrial
warehouse. In 1920 a nearly identical addition was
constructed, expanding the original structure eastward
over the existing rail spur which extended North along
Decatur street. In 1982 the 850 building was constructed
on the foundation of a pre existing rail repair shop and
the combined 888 buildings were listed on the National
Register of Historic Places. The 850 building was designed
with the intent of creating showrooms not affected by
daylight to house the San Francisco Jewelry Mart.

The client’s goal was to re-imagine the identity and
possibilities of the building – responding to the fast
growing tech market – while retaining the longtime
fixture of the Gift Center and Jewelry Mart and respecting
the buildings unique history. To do this, the design team
provided the Jewelry Mart with a unique identity and
entrance, working with them to refresh both their graphic
and spatial identity.

Dominating much of the interior personality of the site is
the oversized atrium space at 888 Brannan’s core. The
team stripped the atrium down to its bare bones and
constructed a multi functional wood gathering space that
accommodates everything from large gatherings to
intimate lunches and impromptu work sessions. A
geometric green wall plays up the North elevation of the
building and gives respite to the industrial feel of the
interior. Much needed green space was incorporated at
the former loading dock and includes a public courtyard,
creating new views for the building tenants and the
neighborhood.

Overall, the 888 Brannan project is a dynamic
revitalization of a historic San Francisco landmark with
subtle nods to the buildings history – like inlaid rail tracks
to guide users through the entrance.