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Article, In The News | September 12, 2023

American Institute of Architects San Francisco Opens New 10,000 SQFT Headquarters in Historic Hallidie Building

Designed by Aidlin Darling Design and brought to life by the skillful hands of BCCI Construction and a wonderful cohort of in-kind contributors, this new space embodies our aspirational vision. It’s inclusive, community-driven, and forward-looking, designed to shape the very landscape of public programming.

The Registry | September 12, 2023

The new headquarters for the American Institute of Architects San Francisco formally opened its doors on Friday. Located in the San Francisco’s historic Hallidie Building, the space will operate as both the AIASF’s headquarters and the Center for Architecture + Design, an architecture nonprofit dedicated to the Bay Area that also curates AIASF’s programming, public engagement initiatives, exhibitions, lectures and various other activities. According to a report from SFYIMBY, the new space is anticipated to host a wide array of lectures, events and film screenings.

AIASF initially unveiled plans for the new center in late 2020. Aidlin Darling Design, a San Francisco-based architecture firm, spearheaded the design, and BCCI Construction served as the general contractor for the project, which had an estimated cost of approximately $7.5 million. Features of the project include a concierge desk, storefront cafe area, lecture hall, gallery space and a meeting room, according to the report.The mezzanine level, encompassing 10,000 square feet, will be transformed into a new office area for AIASF.

According to the Center for Architecture + Design’s website, the new center was a collaborative effort, and leaders of the organization hope the space will “breathe new life into San Francisco’s downtown.” 

Located at 130 Sutter St., the seven-story Hallidie Building is situated between Kearny and Montgomery streets. The seven-story structure at 130 Sutter Street was built in 1918 as an investment property for the University of California, according to The Registry’s previous reporting. For the Sutter Street facade, the original designer Willis Polk employed a steel grid filled with individual glass windows, overlaid with balconies framed by an Edwardian decoration of stamped metal. The finished effect was a shimmering wall of glass – now known as a curtain wall, a technique employed by thousands of modern structures today around the globe.

The structure was named for Andrew Hallidie, a university regent, prominent San Franciscan and inventor of the cable car. In 2013, the Hallidie Building underwent a restoration, and the facade’s structural and decorative elements were repainted with the university’s blue and gold colors as specified in the original design.

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