mbh architects, alameda, calif. In a previous life, the North Beach Malt House was home to several family-owned brewing companies. Today, the renovated building is the anchor of a four-building condo project that blends both old and new aesthetics.

The program called for conversion of the malt house into condo units and the addition of three new, Modern-style buildings. To that end, MBH Architects left the interior concrete walls of the malt house exposed, preserving its industrial roots. And the firm speced painted steel and aluminum windows to unify the old building with the new ones. "The fenestration and the width of the bays drew off the old building," says Mark Blunck, marketing coordinator.  

The courtyard also exalts the project's industrial pedigree: The architects pulled the entry back and incorporated two existing grain silos--with one functioning as a lobby/courtyard entry. And the exterior is lit by red column fixtures that were once part of the plant's roasting drums. Our judges praised the "creative adaptive reuse" and lauded the "clearly delineated old and new sections."

principal in charge: F. Clay Fry, MBH Architects
project architect: Ken Lidicker, MBH Architects
developer: Marc Fracio, Chestnut Street Partners, San Francisco
general contractor: John Kugler, Nibbi Brothers, San Francisco
landscape architect: Clifton Lowe, Cliff Lowe Associates, San Francisco
interior designer: F. Clay Fry, MBH Architects
project size: 800 to 1,600 square feet per unit
site size: 1.26 acres; construction cost: $215 per square foot
sales price: $580,000 to $2.9 million per unit
units in project: 88
photographer: Farshid Assassi