In the Castro, a 1907 building originally crafted as a Nickelodeon theater belonged to a noncontiguous historic theater district, and since then, the space has served as a print shop, marketplace, and most recently Aardvark Books – which unfortunately shuttered its doors in 2019. Soon afterwards, the building went up for sale, needing a new business to reenergize the urban streetscape and surrounding establishments.
Alongside a pair of aspiring small business owners, our team began the process of transforming the structure into a yoga studio, an urban escape offering a wide variety of yoga practices, from pre-natal, to Iyengar and Ashtanga.
Our design aims to uncover and preserve the graceful existing historic arched transom, and faithfully restore the remaining components of the historic front façade. In the entry foyer, vaulted pressed metal ceilings, based on extensive research of the historic theater district, pay tribute to the design sensibilities of the time.
Upon entry, guests are greeted by the refreshed façade, classical wainscoting, and thoughtfully detailed trim in the entry foyer that acts as a greeting point and a gallery with a small retail component. As guests gear up for their practice, they pass through another arch that symbolizes a transition from the busy street to a serene sanctuary, encountering a peaceful double-height tea lounge. Traveling deeper into the studio, another compression through a restroom and storage area releases guests into a sunlit yoga studio – with a connection to a reinvigorated green space in the rear. Above and below, offices discretely provide additional storage and working spaces for staff.
LOCATION San Francisco, California