Folsom Street Residential Laboratory

San Francisco

2003

This urban loft space for a single man occupies the entire top floor of a 1920’s concrete frame structure in San Francisco’s Soma neighborhood.  The space, essentially a “toolbox” for the owner’s urban lifestyle, is unique in its adaptation of commercial and institutional materials and components to residential functions.  Off the shelf laboratory cabinet modules form the kitchen, a customized computer floor forms the sleeping platform, and a precision aluminum framing system creates the enclosure and adaptable framework for an “electronics laboratory”.  In some cases, these modular components were customized to specific client requirements.

 

The client’s lifestyle is very utilitarian, blending professional, technology-based investigations with private activities and domestic functions.  The design draws heavily on the client’s desire for a space exuding a practical, modern simplicity, and was heavily influenced by his sensitivities regarding aesthetics, adaptability and re-use, prefabrication, and modularity of components, etc.  Functional insertions into the existing concrete shell created an efficient, adaptable “armature” for his evolving needs and lifestyle.  In this respect, the space is a residential laboratory.

Photography

Marion Brenner