888 Brannan
Drew Kelly

888 Brannan

Meyer Studio Land Architects as Landscape Architects

The courtyard at 888 Brannan Street is conceived to address the changing work habits of San Francisco’s tech workers and illuminates the important role landscapecan serve in a rapidly expanding city. The project reclaims a previously industrial site that had become a “trapped,” utilitarian void in the urban fabric. An existing loading dock was converted into an elevated plaza, connecting the Jewelry Center to the new headquarters for Airbnb. This unsightly sliver of space was radically reconfigured to bring a striking landscape amenity to the complex.

 

Built around an imported specimen maple tree, a courtyard was constructed by suspending wood decking over the depressed loading dock. A ring of ‘semi-precious stones’ adorn the tree, distinguishing the courtyard, and providing a sheltered social space for tenants to work, eat lunch or socialize. Other design components include a wall of succulents concealing a mechanical corridor, and a wood-clad wall that when lit magically transforms the space at night. The design of the courtyard provides multiple configurations for congregating and reflects a work culture that encourages informality and flexibility.  

 

The courtyard serves as an important visual link between Airbnb’s Headquarters and the Jewelry Center. To bring prominence to the space, a strong architectural relationship was required. The court’s most striking elements, the tree and sculptural stones, are centered on the main corridor that leads to Airbnb’s lobby. Similarly, the courtyard is fully visible to visitors as they enter the Jewelry Center. Working closely with the architects, the geometry of the courtyard informs the building interior and provides a strong indoor-outdoor relationship.

 

A significant design challenge was how to treat the existing overhang of the Jewelry Center which created a shaded and oppresive space. The design solution looked to bring elegant detail and artistic lighting to the surfaces to make the space warmer and more welcoming to visitors.  Native ferns were selected to withstand the deep shade. The wide, linear seatwall was well proportioned for the work habits of young tech workers. 

 

To create the sculptural stones, the design team utilized sophisticated software programs. Small river stones, measuring 2-3 cm, were selected and scanned into three dimensional models that were then enlarged and slightly adjusted to obtain ideal proportions for ergonomics. This allowed for a truly organic shape. The stones were fabricated out of glass-reinforced concrete and being only 1” thick and hollow in the interior, were relatively light weight. This provided flexibility in the field in composing them beneath the tree, as no additional support was required in the decking.

 

A former battery factory, the soil beneath the concrete paving was significantly contaminated. Therefore, it required a strategy that averted the need for disrupting the existing concrete.By suspending the deck, the solution allowed for 1500 cubic feet of uncompacted soil to fill the void between the deck and existing paving, serving as an ideal habitat for the specimen tree.  A restrained use of drought tolerant plant material, including a framed green wall of succulents, substantially minimizes water use. 

 

*This project was completed by MSLA

Project Credits
Architects
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrand
Customized Sculptural Seating ElementsConcreteworks
Product Spec Sheet
Customized Sculptural Seating Elements
Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Suspension House by Fougeron Architecture dramatically spans a creek and waterfall running between lush California hills
5 Dec 2022 News
Suspension House by Fougeron Architecture dramatically spans a creek and waterfall running between lush California hills

Immersed in a beautiful and hilly California landscape, Suspension House by Fougeron Architecture is... More

IUA develop a dynamic series of passageways and bridges for a new business school in response to the specific climate of a Mexico site
5 Dec 2022 News
IUA develop a dynamic series of passageways and bridges for a new business school in response to the specific climate of a Mexico site

Located in the northern part of Mérida (Mexico), The School of Business and Banking (EBC) by... More

Renesa designs a Delhi eatery in a striking material palette of terrazzo and terracotta
2 Dec 2022 News
Renesa designs a Delhi eatery in a striking material palette of terrazzo and terracotta

Tucked in a former Indian restaurant in a premium shopping mall in Saket, Delhi, ‘Rosie and Ti... More

Top 10 residential table lamps
2 Dec 2022 News
Top 10 residential table lamps

Residential table lamps provide direct or indirect lighting to highlight areas of activity within la... More

Hidalgo Mira Arquitectura restore the historic Godelleta tower in Valencia, Spain
30 Nov 2022 News
Hidalgo Mira Arquitectura restore the historic Godelleta tower in Valencia, Spain

Estimated to be built between the period of 11th and 13th centuries, the Godelleta tower is a Buildi... More

Stilt Studios unveil prefab treehouse hospitality units overlooking the lush rice fields of Bali
30 Nov 2022 News
Stilt Studios unveil prefab treehouse hospitality units overlooking the lush rice fields of Bali

Set amidst the coastal village of Canggu, Treehouse Studios is Stilt studios' newest hospitality add... More

Sterck’s new showroom revives the glory of the industrial heritage of Aalst, Belgium
30 Nov 2022 News
Sterck’s new showroom revives the glory of the industrial heritage of Aalst, Belgium

Formerly a weaving mill repurposed into a Tupperware plastic factory and recently transformed into a... More

Casa TO by Ludwig Godefroy is an experiential retreat on Mexico's Pacific coast
30 Nov 2022 News
Casa TO by Ludwig Godefroy is an experiential retreat on Mexico's Pacific coast

Nestled amidst a land of golden sunsets, with unparalleled vistas of the sea, sand and cliffs, in La... More