The SmithGroup, an architecture and engineering firm whose 88 LEED projects to date include three top-ranked LEED Platinum buildings, has completed an extraordinary buildout of new offices at the Bently Reserve.
The Bently Reserve appealed to the firm because of its stately Beaux-Arts exterior, flexible floor plans, extensive space, and ample natural lighting. The 200,000-square-foot Bently Reserve is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a protected San Francisco landmark. Designed in the early 1920s by George Kelham, it was the first Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and epitomizes the unique and colorful heritage of San Francisco.
The buildings owner is also commited to sustainability, which appealed to the SmithGroup — building owners Bently Holdings has made LEED Silver certification a prerequisite for all leaseholders.
Transforming this 83-year old space into a dynamic and sustainable workplace was the vision, and it delivers: the contemporary space brings forth the best of both worlds, highlighting the historic aspects of the building while embracing high-performance design. The SmithGroup took this concept a step further: in appreciation of the brick-and-timber core and exposed building elements, the firm left these elements exposed to serve as the canvas for a dynamic design.
William Loftis, the vice president and design principal of SmithGroup's San Francisco Studio, says "We could see existing brick walls and enormous seismic steel beams that had been installed in the late 1980s peeking out from behind the Drywall. There was brick, steel, exposed concrete, and almost 20ft. between floors. It was an achitect's heaven."
The space has become a paragon of sustainable design practice, as well as contemporary aesthetics. Dramatizing the spirit of this modern workplace is a two-story stairway made of steel, glass, and reclaimed teak — it gives visual connectivity between the space's two floors and invites collaboration. A green roof serves as the capstone of the space, giving employees a healthy retreat while embodying the architectural firm's sustainable ideals.
Learn more at SmithGroup.