DATE: 1969 & 2013
LOCATION: San Francisco, California, USA
OLD USE: Candy warehouse, Retail, Office
NEW USE: Private club
The Musto Building was the result of the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. Prior to the earthquake, the site had been home to a marble workshop but it was destroyed. The Musto Building was constructed in its place in 1907 and designed by William Mooser II, the San Francisco’s first city architect. The three-story building was built to house retail and stores on the first floor with the upper two floors serving as warehouse space.
The Musto Building was primarily used as a warehouse by various businesses, including the Euclid Candy Co. and Niels C. Hansens Crating. In 1969, it experienced its first conversion when the building was retrofitted into an office building.
Xochi and Michael Birch established themselves in the dotcom era, creating and then selling Bebo.com. Bebo was a social networking site the brothers had created in 2005. They later sold the site to AOL in 2008. After a few additional transfers, the Birches purchased the site back from then-owner Criterion Capital Partners in July 2013.
FME Architecture + Design is a San Francisco-based firm specializing in architectural and interior design for a variety of project types, both large and small, public and private. Since opening shop in 1980, they have made it their mission to be a partner to their clients, providing contextual design coupled with expert guidance and service.
Purchased in 2009 by Michael and Xochi Birch, the Musto Building was rebranded as The Battery. FME Architecture + Design took on the task of revisioning the building into a private club with a mix of amenities. The members-only club offers such amenities as a spa, fitness facilities, 3,000 SF wine cellar, poker room, 20-person hot tub, 13 guest suites, multiple bar areas, and the restaurant, “717″.
The project included a mandatory unreinforced masonry building (UMB) seismic upgrade, restoration and retrofit work, horizontal and vertical expansion of the basement level, and a 16,000 SF fourth floor roof addition that is enclosed by a custom, glass curtain wall system. Acoustic isolation, two-hour fire-rated glazing in elevator shaft, excavation below the existing west-wing structure and the refinished courtyard made The Battery a unique challenge, while capturing the most gratifying elements of a San Francisco adaptive reuse project.
Images courtesy of FME Architecture + Design.