Allison Leahy

Artful Renovation Turns San Francisco's Historic Pier 24 Into Enormous Photography Gallery

by , 10/04/11

pier 24, pilara foundation, contemporary photography, rail-spur, waterfront, dimmer, lighting, hvac, historic waterfront, san francisco, two-track lighting, magnetic lighting, concrete floor, green design, eco design, eco friendly, environmental design, environment, sustainable design, sustainable living, green living, eco habitat, eco conscious, green infrastructure, infrastructure, green transportation, co2, climate change, green technology, eco art, solar, envelope a+d, art gallery, photography exhibit, aia, architecture and the city

The building is designated in the National Register, so its renovation had to preserve the site’s historic architectural integrity. Envelope a+d responded to this challenge with a design that embraces the pier’s raw warehouse quality. New materials were chosen to compliment the original artifice – not blend into it – and everything added to the space can be removed to restore the building to its found condition.

Pedestrians enter the gallery from a boardwalk above an inactive rail spur off the Embarcadero promenade. The modern double door entryway juts into the first gallery box, where visitors are introduced to the completely climate-controlled environment. Unlike a typical museum, there are no title plates or descriptions. Exhibits are accompanied by a map and a catalog, and vinyl numbers in the middle of each room identify your location. This lack of visual distraction creates a contemplative environment that encourages closer study of the photographs on display.

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