The former US Bank Building in the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego, 1420 Kettner & Ash was acquired by development partners Divco West and Ocean West. They brought in Gensler to revive the building’s core and common areas with the goal of turning a dull single-tenant building into a thriving 21st century multi-tenant workplace.
One of the main challenges from the onset was taking a building that was designed for a single bank tenant, and creating a more visible and inviting entry and presence on the street. The design enhanced the building’s curb appeal through a sophisticated lobby remodel and expansion, carving out a future cafe/retail suite that will flow into the office lobby at the ground level. The upgraded exterior makes for an impactful sense of arrival, while the atrium features an engaging graphic display that is visible from the outside. The team collaborated with digital artist Standard vision on a LED display that 10ft wide by 50 feet tall with custom motion graphics to bring life to the shared atrium co-working space.
The design infused the special locale of this neighborhood through the common spaces of the project to bring a sense of vitality and relevance. Inspired by its surroundings, Italian Crossroads became the design inspiration for the interior spaces exploring different textures, colors, and patterns to bring warmth and movement to the spaces. This inspiration is also seen in the collaboration of the design team with artists Paul Fleming and Ed Fairburn who created two commissioned art pieces for the building lobby.
The design all featured a shared tenant lounge on third floor that opens up to a roof deck. The material selection of this space further re-enforces the locale, brings warmth through vintage touches while keeping the urban and contemporary vibe. The tenant lounge, equipped with craft beer taps, open directly to an expansive roof deck through a 20 foot wide sliding door.
Lastras de Gertler Landscape Architects were brought in to collaborate in creating a flexible and dynamic outdoor space that can support larger functions as well as outdoor meetings. With native planting, shade canopy, and mix of furniture types, The roof deck feature and lounge capitalize on this San Diego coastal urban environment.