In February 2014 we began looking for a second home for uforia. It’s taken close to a year to find, design, and build the perfect space in the perfect neighborhood, but we’re now just a month away from opening the doors to uforia studios Nob Hill!
We wanted to give you a behinds the scenes look at the process we’ve taken to find, design and now build our new studio. Last week we talked about our search, ultimately resulting in us leasing 1561 California St. This week we’ll talk about the design of the studios.
While we were still in negotiations with the landlords on 1561 California St, we were introduced to a great San Francisco Architect named Geoff Gibson, of Winder Gibson Architects. He’s lived in San Francisco for close to two decades working on a broad range of projects from restaurants to retail to night clubs. We insisted that Geoff make the trip down to our Palo Alto studio, and although we didn’t get him into a hip hop class, he did get to see firsthand what makes the experience at uforia so special. He then set out on a mission with his team to design an inspired space that met all of our requirements (and also all of the requirements of the SF Building Department.) Here are some of the early design inspirations for this project:
Design Ideas 1
Design Ideas 2
Early on in the process Geoff told us that great architectural design is about alignment. Alignment between the function and flow of a space, its use, the project schedule, budget, clientele, and brand. So we began thinking about alignment as we designed 1561 California. For example, of the final two floor plan options (shown below) we preferred the main floor of option B as it allowed for a better flow of clients during times when we have simultaneous classes upstairs and downstairs (upstairs clients go to the right at the front desk, while those headed for the underground go to their left) – a perfect example of alignment between the flow of the space and its use.
We ended up choosing option B. The main floor has a lobby and retail area, a bathroom, a small area with cubbies to put bags and coats prior to entering the 1100 sq ft studio for Hip Hop and GRIT. There are stairs as well as a lift which will take clients to the lower level where there are bathrooms, showers, changing rooms, and a large mirrored vanity area. There is a separate check in desk downstairs where clients can rent/buy shoes or snacks and get ready for Revolutions. The underground will house Revolutions and has 35 bikes with a clear span floor plan and a pumping sound system.
We got the construction permit from the city on November 12th and began construction with a great contractor Cody Brock on December 5th. More on the build next week!