ABQ Warehouse District

February 14, 2011

Warehouse Adaptive Reuse Precedent (stevealano)

Filed under: Adaptive Reuse Warehouses — celladdition @ 3:06 am

Ford Point

1414-1422 Harbour Way South
Richmond, CA 94804

The Ford Assembly Plant in Richmond, California, was the largest of its kind on the West Coast: a 517,000 sf factory on the edge of San Francisco Bay supplied by water and conceived as a single linear space, 1/4 mile long, beneath a saw-tooth roof that flooded the work spaces with indirect daylight. Designed by Albert Kahn in 1931 with minimal ornamentation on except for the streamlined deco detailing at either end, the plant was converted for wartime production on in World War II. After the war, Ford restart automobile assembly, however, that ended in February 1953. The factory was closed down in 1956 due to its inability to meet increased production on demands.

The building was empty when its new owner, the City of Richmond, placed it on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. One year later, the Loma Prieta earthquake caused major damage. For the next 15 years, the city spent $20 million on seismic upgrades while being courted by developers who arrived with big plans only to edge away. Finally, Richmond sold the building to Orton Development in 2004 for $5.4 million.

Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects made as few visual interventions as possible — in part to focus attention on the factory’s innate dignity but also to ensure that the project would receive the historic tax credits needed for its financing package. All exterior work was done under the eye of the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service. The architects had a freer hand elsewhere in the interior: carving space to meet tenant’s demands. The adapted Ford Point (as it is now called) is a model of sustainable design.



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