The remodelling of the former military port for San Francisco Art Institute combines drama and intimacy, lending itself surprisingly well to its new role
Decommissioned in 1972, Fort Mason on San Francisco’s waterfront is a former military port. The pier contained an army warehouse, a simple industrial structure with concrete walls and steel trusses supporting a timber roof. The site is now managed by a not-for-profit organisation and existing structures colonised to accommodate an array of tenants and functions. The most recent development is the remodelling of Pier 2, a finger pier dating from 1912, to house studios, galleries and workshops for the San Francisco Art Institute. Combining drama and intimacy, the building lends itself surprisingly well to its new role. A new mezzanine structure defines cellular studio and gallery spaces on each side of a long, nave-like volume. The revitalised ensemble conjures a sense of the heroic while admitting abundant natural light and acting as an adaptable setting for student life.
Sfai pier 2
Photography by Bruce Damonte
This case study is part of Typology: Pier. Read the full article here