Oriental Warehouse Loft
San Francisco, California
For a complete renovation and reconfiguration of a historic loft building in San Francisco’s South Beach neighborhood, Edmonds + Lee explored the ultimate boundaries of the loft typology. Abandoning traditional notions of enlightenment-era domestic privacy in favor of open transparency, the architects focused on embracing and maximizing the loft’s sense of expansiveness and light-filled reach. The architects worked with the existing structural shell, exposing rusticated brick and heavy timber support beams and contrasting that with the sleek materiality of bookshelves, flooring, chandeliers, and vivacious pops of artwork and furniture. A steel cantilevered stair connects the living areas with the sleeping mezzanine, and details like an exceptionally deep warm-wood soaking tub and a crisp vanity set against a rough brick backdrop help to inject vibrant life into the minimal space. Frameless glass guardrails provided safety without being visually antagonistic on the sleeping mezzanine, while a custom (and oversized) sheet of ultra-transparent glass draws the master bathroom’s views to the rest of the loft, and beyond.