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Coblentz Patch Duffy and Bass


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44,000 sq. feet
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Project Description


Celebrating a rich history in the Bay Area dating back to the 1890’s, Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass is a recognized force within the regional real estate landscape. Throughout the decades clients have included notable figures such as the Hearst family during the Patty Hearst kidnapping, legendary San Francisco concert promoter Bill Graham, and the estate of Elvis Presley.

Throughout the second half of the 20th century, the firm’s continued growth prompted a move to San Francisco’s Ferry Building. This architectural icon well-represented Coblentz’s rich history and established position in the Bay Area. However, as the firm continued to experience internal growth, the location proved to be challenging for the efficient planning and densification the firm required.

Coblentz hired our team to assist them with the programming, planning and design of recently acquired office space in the city’s Financial District. Their newly leased space was nearly a 1/3rd less of what they had occupied in the Ferry Building, but allowed for more efficient use of space planning. This reduction in space resulted in planning challenges, but also provided an opportunity to dissect the firm’s way of working and prioritize their needs. They desired a space that would reflect their culture, welcome clients and guests, celebrate their history, embrace the future, and be appealing to new talent.

A single-office-size strategy that speaks to their democratic culture was adopted, and allowed for welcoming social spaces that everyone can enjoy. Rather than assigning corner offices to partners, these were designed as informal meeting spaces. The conference center and café / library space are linked with a dramatic interconnecting stair that provides opportunities for clients, attorneys, and staff to mingle, collaborate, and simply run into each other for impromptu conversation.
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