Adaptive reuse has been a long-term success story in North American cities and former industrial and institutional areas. This process involves maximizing the use of existing buildings and materials and restoring the urban and architectural fabric to revitalize cities and places.
San Francisco’s LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a 115-year-old social services organization serving people who are blind or have low vision. In designing the organization’s new headquarters, the architects at Mark Cavagnero Associates had the opportunity to reimagine their usual design process and rethink how to create beautiful spaces focusing on all senses.
By adding functional space to the building exterior, plazas provide inviting areas that extend building use throughout the day and evening. As the needs of the owner and occupants change, plaza rehabilitation can incorporate new amenities and landscape elements to adapt to building use.
To help ensure accessibility of fresh air and a connection with the outdoors for those with physical disabilities, windows capable of meeting operating force and motion requirements of International Code Council/American National Standards Institute (ICC/ANSI) A117.1, Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities, are being more commonly specified.
Glass doors and walls in commercial spaces have transformed how people work, play, shop, and socialize. Glass provides a clean, crisp, contemporary look that can allow for natural daylight to flow from one interior space to the next.