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 Even the name 'Vara,' which was formerly a numerical unit equivalent to 33 inches, is a historical reference from when California was under Spanish rule.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.
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