• finished
  • shop
  • process

This project consists of workshop, laboratory and office space that is intended to be used as a "maker" and R+D facility, as well as a demonstration space for Autodesk's software. The workshop facilities range in levels of complexity from basic tooling to advanced CNC prototyping and fabrication.

The site is the south side of Pier 9 on the San Francisco waterfront, which not only has extraordinary views of the bay but also has tugboat berthing along the adjacent apron. It is one of the few piers that still maintains an active maritime use. One of the design opportunities was to juxtapose the new technology of the workshop with the old school industry represented by the tugboats - to express a kind of narrative honoring traditional industry while showcasing current technology and the path it foretells.

We started with a simple palette of materials - steel, reclaimed wood, plywood, and cement board, all of which felt industrial but through detailing we were able to utilize in a more elegant and contemporary expression - creating a distinction and tension between new and old building fabric. The pier shed is inherently a dramatic, grand space, so in adding a mezzanine level and a series of defined spaces you begin to lose the fundamental character of the space - which was in part what drew the client to the pier to begin with. To try and keep that sense of scale we incorporated a series of two-story high spaces, with the most dramatic being the CNC shop, and introduced a catwalk bridge through it that enables employees and visitors to view the work without interfering with the process.

The piers are historic structures, searching for new meaningful uses. Our goal for the architectural expression was to design an infill structure that was at once respectful of the character and feel of the old industrial structure, and yet at the same time clearly a modern solution. Designed to conform to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and LEED-Platinum Commercial Interiors for office space, we hope that we achieved our client’s goal of establishing a vision for how these old pier structures might be re-purposed, and how private use can assist in rehabilitating part of our historic fabric that might otherwise be lost.

The following Autodesk products were used during the design and construction of the space: Autodesk Revit Architecture, Autodesk Revit Structure, Autodesk AutoCAD, AutoCAD MEP, 3ds Max Design, MEP Fabrication, SketchBook.

San Francisco | 2013


Autodesk, Inc.

LD Team

Jeff Loehmann
Gavin Knowles
Ryan Austin

Project Team

DPR Construction

Made by our shop

  • Suspended conference table
  • Steel and cedar reception desk

Press and awards


Blake Marvin, K M Dale Tan, Ryan Hughes