EmeryTech Interiors

location:Emeryville, CA
developer:Ellis Partners
completion:Winter 2000

EmeryTech is a 230,000 square foot complex in Emeryville that houses high-tech offices, Andronico’s market and café, parking, office and retail space, and training facilities. We transformed a former manufacturing site into an architecturally rich building, retaining the old factory’s airy grandeur and designing a site that effectively houses an extremely diverse group of businesses. Our design incorporates many of the original building elements, including high bay windows, exposed I-beams and columns, and exposed concrete and brick. The design premise was to maintain and enhance the structure’s original tall space.

More than 40,000 square feet were designed for a growing software company, with an abundance of loft style open space to stimulate teamwork and creativity. A dramatic stairway is a focal point of the offices, which also include light-reflecting materials and 24-foot ceilings on the second floor that enhance the sense of openness. The design also addressed the developer’s target to maximize rentable areas by adding a full floor plus a mezzanine level to the original 35-foot high spaces. Other program elements include conference rooms, a spacious entrance lobby adjacent to the building’s outdoor atrium, two more hand-crafted stairwells, and theatrical fabric curtains surrounding the large presentation room.

We used translucent or transparent materials to enclose areas, allowing the natural light to filter throughout the space. We also used fabric draperies to partition spaces and provide acoustic absorption.

In order to meet the owner’s desired schedule for occupancy, the project proceeded with remarkable speed. For example, the seismic retrofit of the shell and construction of the parking garage were completed in less than 12 months.