Project: 34,000 GSF Regional headquarters for non-profit organization serving at-risk girls
Location: Downtown Oakland
Award: 2014 Oakland Heritage Alliance Partners in Preservation Award for Rehabilitation
Design Approach: Inspired by Girls Inc.’s motto of inspiring girls to be “strong, smart & bold”, this project balances lively and modern design interventions with careful preservation to restore a historically significant edifice to civic use.
New bold signage and the allocation of space for girls programming on the ground floor announces the new use to the street, and emphasizes the importance of the girls to the organization’s mission. A 2-story atrium restores a generous volume in the heart of the building, creates a flexible and logical space for gathering and events and directly connects staff and board rooms visually to program spaces.
Strategic location of meeting spaces, use of materials, graphics, light and color emphasizes a connection of staff to the mission of the organization and simplifies way-finding throughout. Removing layers of renovations from the 1960s through 1980s and a rabbit-warren of non-original interior walls restores access to light and air from 3 sides, an usual and beautiful asset of this building located steps away from city hall and the main plaza in downtown Oakland.