Recently, we reconfigured several units in a four-story midcentury gem of an apartment building atop San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill, an exercise that was not unlike solving a 3D puzzle. We kept the panoramic views of the Bay and city skyline while rightsizing some of the units and carving out a two-story townhouse for the owners. The project shows the adaptability of the original building’s strong modernist bones and the opportunities for adding curves to counterpoint the orthogonal nature of the modernist box.
San Francisco, CA
Set atop San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill, this seven-unit apartment building was originally designed in 1951 by the Bay Area firm of Hertzka and Knowles. With spectacular panoramic views of the Bay Estuary, Bay Bridge and Downtown, the project scope included a full renovation and seismic retrofit of this mid-century gem with the goal to reallocate the units’ square footages in order to create a new three-bedroom “owners” townhouse.
This month we lost a dear colleague and a giant in our field, Art Gensler. Our professional relationship with Art revolved around San Francisco International Airport projects and the Chase Arena, but more importantly, we had a personal relationship, one of friendship and mentoring. Byron’s work with Art on the board of trustees at California College of the Arts brought them together to envision ways of thinking, learning, and communicating about design to look to the future of the profession. Perhaps Art’s most arresting virtue was his innate ability to incessantly look forward and to encourage those around him to expand their viewpoints. Art taught us all how to shake it up, always with great warmth and generosity.
Recently, we have been reflecting on the impact and importance of local activism. The first article this month is a Kuth Ranieri blogpost focusing on Byron’s work with Responsible Growth in Marin. Since late 2019, RGM has been working to create an alternative vision for Marin County’s Northgate Mall after developers proposed a Costco, which was not in keeping with the community’s vision for future development of the aging mall. RGM’s concept centers on the creation of a town center flanked by new housing, green space, local shops and eateries.
Suburbs and cities everywhere face the challenge of what to do with malls and shopping centers that have been hit hard by COVID-19, the departure of department store anchors, and the rise of online shopping. One example close to home is Northgate Mall in San Rafael, which opened in the 1960s and currently has a Macy’s and a Kohl’s as its anchors. A third anchor, Sears, closed its doors here in 2018. About a year later, Costco proposed taking over the site with a massive three-story big box store and 30 Costco fuel pumps.
Covid-19 has challenged all of us to re-evaluate our relationship to shared interior spaces. Some of our clients have had to adapt their facilities to modify their operations. For two of our clients, SFO and The Bay School, we have developed solutions to meet their immediate needs with an eye towards enhancing their long-term operational goals. Below is a sample of these Covid-response projects.
The Town of Eastham on Cape Cod selected Kuth Ranieri to design and administer construction of a new office facility for the Harbormaster and staff, located at the town harbor at the mouth of Rock Creek. The relocation of this public safety component to the harbor permits staff to manage the boat launch and slips directly, as well as to stage any rescue operations in the bay and interior freshwater bodies.
Kuth Ranieri Architects has promoted architects Rob Marcalow and Juno Song to associates. Rob is the firm’s East Coast studio director for the Boston regional office. Since joining in 2018, he’s worked on everything from a daycare center to San Francisco International Airport. Juno came to Kuth Ranieri in 2015 and has had a hand in a number of the firm’s projects at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), ranging from the new Harvey Milk Terminal 1 to the “Big Room” co-location office for the entire Terminal 1 team.
In the Bay Area, the scarcity and high expense of childcare has posed a significant challenge to families already struggling with the cost of living. One provider, Burlingame-based Palcare Childcare, has been making a difference since the early 1990s. Palcare offers childcare programs with flexible scheduling—not only during the day but also well into the evening—for families of children ranging from three months to five years old.
Today, the Black Lava Fields is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. There is an existing visitor’s center, a simple building made up of container modules that house a gift shop and café. The Bee Breeders, architecture competition organizers, held this design competition to replace the existing building with a structure more worthy of this amazing environment.
The horizon is the primal DATUM of all dwelling. It is the reification of the elemental link between the internal mechanism of perception and external realm of physical reality. It is what links us intimately to our surroundings. Throughout history, surroundings change, technologies change, languages change, cultural and expressive imperatives change, but what architecture must respond to now is the changing nature of the primal conditions of the medium itself; that of perceptual and psychic references.
Part of the park’s Phase 2 of revitalization projects, the Cypress Pavilions are situated on the southeastern portion of the Ring Road that encircles the entire park – a family of pavilions nestled within a grove of cypress trees on man-made islands. Centrally located is a large tea house, surrounded by the constellation of smaller rentable pavilions.
Architect to TLS Landscape Architecture
Palcare Daycare Center is an expansion to the existing campus of the Palcare Childcare, a 501(c)(3) non-profit located in Burlingame, CA. The renovation of a mid-century appliance showroom across the street from the current facility utilizes an open floor plan to create a series of classrooms partitioned with low walls, providing staff with a view of all the spaces at once.
San Francisco, CA
The Golden State Warriors’ Chase Center Arena is both a recreational and cultural destination and the design for the lobbies reflect this new typology of urban arenas.
Associate Architect and Associate Interior Architect to Gensler
SFO International Terminal Refresh Project, in joint venture with SOM and TSAO Design Group, is a renovation of the International Terminal Security Checkpoint and Boarding Areas. Along with collaboration on all scopes, Kuth Ranieri led the renovation of the Boarding Area A Restroom facilities, which included reconfiguring existing facilities for new women’s and men’s restrooms, as well as the addition of an all gender restroom, nursery, and companion care. Kuth Ranieri was responsible for all design services from programming and stakeholder engagement through documentation and construction administration.
In Joint Venture with SOM and TSAO Design Group
We regularly incorporate Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines into our work, but I never realized that ADA legislation was a result of years of protests by hundreds of social rights activists. I had only learned about the 504 Sit-In after a friend of mine named Natalie Fung posted about it on social media. Natalie was organizing a protest for people with disabilities in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Santa Rosa, CA
In the fall of 2017, one of our clients lost their house to the Santa Rosa wildfires. Not long after, they asked us to drive up from San Francisco and talk about designing a new house on the same site. The landscape was eerie, all ashes and chimneys and bent, burnt, broken things.
San Francisco, CA
The confluence of San Francisco’s urban character, natural beauty and vibrant colors offers a unique context for the redesign of the City’s Public Restrooms and Advertising Kiosks. These next generation of people-centric amenities can both create a dialog with their urban and natural setting as well as become welcoming beacons for residents and visitors. Embracing a color pallet that reflects the lifecycle of California wild flowers, these proposed restroom and kiosk enclosures blend their respective programmatic functions with a vibrant graphic pattern to distinguish and signify their much-desired role within their immediate surroundings.
From the smoking eart, rise black castles; their twisted towers clawing to rip free from the earth. This is the home of myth, the home of Gryla and her sons, the place where Satan fell to earth. These are the Black Lava Fields of Dimmuborgir, a place of myth and legends, a place where man meets nature. Our concept accentuates the mystery of the site, capturing and contrasting the intersection of the built and unbuilt landscape.
In Collaboration with RHAA Landscape Architects
San Francisco, CA
This pediatric dental clinic for the UCSF School of Dentistry transforms an outdated 1970s clinic into a vibrant space that is both state-of-the-art and child-friendly. The School of Dentistry is located in the School of Dentistry Building on UCSF’s Parnassus Campus. Pediatrics occupies a cluster of rooms on the first floor which have been undergoing incremental modernizations.
Marin County, California
The Hillside Courtyard House is a remodel of a midcentury home on a steeply sloping site in Marin County. As one descends the property they pass through multiple thresholds of privacy. Each step leading further toward calmness and seclusion.
In the mid-1990s, the San Francisco Department of Public Works contracted with the French outdoor advertising company JCDecaux to provide two dozen accessible, self-cleaning public restrooms to be scattered throughout the city’s sidewalks in areas with high foot traffic. Along with them came 114 advertising kiosks. Both restrooms and kiosks resembled their counterparts in Paris, with Art Nouveau curves and gold accents. They may have added a necessary function to the streetscape, but aesthetically, they didn’t have anything in particular to do with San Francisco.
San Francisco, California
A LEED Silver Certified project, Kuth Ranieri Architects’ design concept for this progressive dentistry practice focuses on a rich palette of materials, evoking a simple, quilt-like construction for creating interior spaces.
American Canyon, California
Our strategy for 32 Dental focused on creating a calming, elegant dental care environment with an emphasis on green design. Comprising just over 1,100 square feet, the suite includes five operatories, patient reception area, a private office/consultation room, and lab/sterilization area.
The interior atmosphere of Toothspa is a reflection of the client’s patient-care philosophy. The reception “living room” is an inviting presence that sets the tone for a relaxed seamless experience for patients and staff.
San Francisco, California
Taking full advantage of the suite’s location along the pedestrian arcade of 345 California Center, we developed an inviting presence for passers-by, emphasizing the scale, color and materiality of the reception area.
Inspired by traditional Chinese ink paintings, the new form of this aviary, with Lion Mountain behind it, evokes the feeling of layered misty mountains. This project repurposes an abandoned rollercoaster structure into a 160,000 SF enclosed aviary. New programs include: wildlife exhibits, water features, walkways, and viewing platforms.
Architect to TLS Landscape Architecture