Contract - September 2009 - (Page 62)

design Mark Cavagnero Associates created impact in the entry lobby of Chronicle Books (left) by erecting a vast wall constructed of wood panels of varying stains of blue, reflecting the company’s signature color. Exposed brick, wood, and concrete in the lobby give a nod to the building's historic heritage and provide a backdrop for changing art exhibitions (opposite ). books stored Mark Cavagnero Associates’ designs for Chronicle Books’ office in an historic San Francisco building uses books to help define workspace and satisfy the way staff actually works For an independent book publisher responsible for inception to bound copy of titles running the gamut from cookbooks to bios of rock icons to photography, travel, design, and everything in between, it seems logical that the company would require workspace as diverse as the tasks of its workforce. So it was not surprising when San Francisco-based Chronicle Books, which was founded in 1967 and developed a reputation for publishing award-winning books, outgrew its digs and sought to relocate and realign its headquarters in a new space designed by San Francisco-based Mark Cavagnero Associates Architects. “The functional requirements of the new headquarters,” explains Michael Carabetta, creative director at Chronicle Books, “were that it accommodate 175 people now, provide room to grow, and offer enough meeting space—we had outgrown previous meeting spaces, and were scattered among different floors. We saw this building and thought that it offered possibilities of chance encounters and that it would make for congenial space.” Additionally, the client sought natural light penetration and the possibility of employees spreading out, rather than working on top of one another. In an open, transparent process, all Chronicle departments were engaged in the discussion so the architects could understand issues on all levels. “They wanted to function as a tight, cohesive family; everyone wanted to be near everyone else,” observed Mark Cavagnero. “So we had to make this multistory office efficient, familiar, and easy in terms of access so that employees could talk, meet, and share.” With the old space intensely book-laden—“workers literally were drowning in books,” Cavagnero recalls—he devised a way for the books to become part of the design, with workstations and bookshelves that help delineate space. Since the editorial and art departments represent the heart of the operation, the architects set these operations in the middle of everything and let all other functions stem from there. Carabetta called Chronicle’s previous office “physically divisive,” and based on client feedback, it was up to the design team to figure out how to create a logical flow. For example, Cavagnero preserved two staircases and opened them up to the floors; a double stair at the back connects the editorial staff with marketing and sales. While dealing with an historic structure can pose challenges, the client appreciated the rugged, industrial quality and character of the 1920s building, and Cavagnero managed to exploit its nuances. “This building was so unique. A series of meeting rooms are all different sizes. It’s not like a new building where everything is homogenous; instead, this space is much like the company itself. By Danine Alati Photography by David Wakely 62 contract september 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - September 2009

Contract - September 2009
Don’t Judge A Floor By Its Cover
Smart Workstations
Green Collar Jobs On The Rise
From Castle to Treasury
Make Me A Star
Green Apple
A Different Ball Game
Creative Energy
Quiet Riot
Books Stored
Reading Room
Designers Rate: Casegoods
Ad Index

Contract - September 2009