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Boardroom as Commune

A stately, shareable office for traveling deal-makers.

The Geiger sectionals are by Herman Miller, a fellow building tenant. Warren Bennett leather chairs and marble tables are arranged in quadrants.

A view into the boardroom from the mansard roof, atop what was once Mutual Savings Bank. The perch offers 270-degree views.

Exposed steel trusses frame a seating area decked with Herman Miller furniture and a walnut bar.

Reproductions of paintings by the late Fang Zhaoling, whose work is represented in the collection of the Asian Art Museum.

Not every 21st-century exec wants an office littered with Ping-Pong tables, bocce courts, and napping nooks. In this city of startups, there's something tantalizingly grown-up about a workplace like One Kearny Club, where pony-hair pelts replace color-block carpet squares and Eames loungers trump beanbag chairs. Perched atop a historic 1902 Renaissance revival building, this rentable office space caters to a revolving clientele of local and visiting aesthetes: Herman Miller furniture designers, San Francisco Symphony donors, Comcast executives, and Asian venture capitalists, to name but a few.

Originally intended as attic space, the 11th-floor overlook served as offices for the family-run corporation of the owners until 2007, when they realized that the airy setting and 270-degree views could be put to better use. Retrofitted by Page & Turnbull architects and Briggs MacDonald designers, the 4,000 square foot interior puts the building's blackened steel trusses on display, a striking contrast to the gallery-white walls and calligraphy-inspired Chinese artwork. Though the effect is one of old-world luxury, slits in the ceiling deftly hide modern lighting and audiovisual equipment.

 

Originally published in the April 2013 issue of San Francisco.

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