In 1963, renowned San Diego modernist architect Homer Delawie, A.I.A., designed the Brandon-Beaver Building. The building is located at 2800 Third Avenue in Bankers Hill. Originally a medical office building, it served the community for over 50 years. It was poised on the edge of Maple canyon, with prominent views across the historic 1911 First Avenue Bridge. Over time, the building was infilled, overgrown with vegetation, and became a visual blockage from the neighborhood to the canyon beyond.
After several attempts by developers to purchase, demolish and redevelop the site, the building was purchased and renovated in 2017, maintaining the neighborhood scale of the building. The mid-century modern architecture was preserved, and the building became transparent by adding windows on all sides and removing all the interior walls. This opened up the views of the canyon to the neighborhood.
Prior to renovation designed by domusstudio architecture, the building looked abandoned and the grounds were a hangout for drug dealers and homeless. The re-purposed building has revitalized the neighborhood at the end of Third and Olive. From the bridge view, it has visually lightened its footprint in the canyon by painting the base dark, giving the illusion that the building is floating. It’s not often that a building project subtracts, rather than adds to the built environment.