A languishing office building gets a new lease on life

Sidell Pakravan Architects as Architects

Varied textures and scales of wood create a new identity for this formerly bland, languishing office building.  This commercial refurbishment in Danville, a small Northern California town, transforms and expands the existing space with a bold volumetric statement that remains sensitive to the materials, history, and scale of the neighborhood.

The design is a study in layers, using a language of vertical wood boards and protruding window volumes, evoking the rectangular bay windows and vertical trim of Danville’s “San Francisco Stick” heritage.  Wood in several different types and scales clad the building, linking it materially with the town’s vernacular of cedar slats and shakes. A cedar rain screen finished with a sustainable mineral sealant wraps the existing and the new building volume, while painted cedar shake storage units line the first floor of the building, giving the base of the building a new heft while providing much needed storage. 


Both the existing 8,000 sf building and the new 3,000 sf building have a two-story wood-framed structure over a concrete slab on grade. The wood framing is a mix of conventional douglas fir joists and studs Glulam beams, and “Red Built” open web trusses made of engineered wood and steel. The original cladding, painted T-111 plywood siding, remains under the new cedar rain screen. Wood re-purposed from a dying deodar cedar on the site was used to make guardrails, door handles, and stair treads. 


The completed project is home to a variety of medical and dental practices and is now a bustling healthcare hub for the community. 

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