625 Broadway is an architectural gem in downtown San Diego. This historic building was San Diego’s first high-rise office building and was designed in 1927 by father-son firm Parkinson & Parkinson in the Florentine Renaissance style. With its recent transformation from offices to 231 apartments, the story of 625 Broadway is alive and well. Building on an architectural style characterized by a strong sense of rhythm and depth, artistic details, and a rich material palette, M.W. Steele’s design approach to this project involved creating a contemporary interpretation of this historic language.
The conversion of the building from offices to living units brought about many changes to the interior. The exception to this was the iconic building lobby, which still has a historic coffered ceiling, marble flooring, and thresholds with recessed arches. Common areas and amenity spaces in the building are realized as reflections of the contemporary culture of downtown, balancing work and play by a mix of formality and relaxed expression. This celebration of contrast continues in the building units, where clean contemporary kitchens and baths are complimented by the exposed structure. Throughout the 13-story building, respect for the structure is combined with a contemporary interpretation of the architecture.