When the leaders of the San Francisco firm BAR Architects went looking for a new office space, they couldn’t believe their luck. They happened upon a two-story 1920s warehouse building with lots of light and character, and it had already gone through a core and shell renovation. “We fell in love with this space,” says principal Paula Krugmeier, AIA, LEED AP.

BAR’s 83 employees work in an open layout, with staffers divided up according to project teams. The 18-and 14-foot-tall ceilings allow for plenty of light and airflow, while the use of reclaimed materials such as Douglas fir ceiling timbers and walnut floors helped the project achieve LEED certification.

The building’s location, in the city’s bustling South of Market area and close to several train and bus stops, holds just as much importance for BAR as its physical attributes do. “The neighborhood was a key element in our search,” Krugmeier says. “We wanted to be in a place where we had excellent access to public transportation.”