The VARA Workspace Takes History into Account

By: Vasiliki Marapas - Aug 21, 2014
References: o-plus-a & contemporist
Studio O+A designed VARA, a housing development for urban professionals located in San Francisco, California.

The architects sought to achieve a balance between the contemporary living practices of these professionals, and the historical context of the Mission District. Even the name 'Vara,' which was formerly a numerical unit equivalent to 33 inches, is a historical reference from when California was under Spanish rule.

Formerly, the building housed a print shop famous for its work on fruit and vegetable labels. The architects considered this, along with California's rich agricultural history, when designing the rustic spaces, including a lobby, bar, gym and courtyard. Some of the original building's wood was salvaged and re-purposed to further accentuate the public spaces.