“The Old Mint stands a chance to be one of the greenest museums on the books.”
This renovation and adaptive reuse project is transforming the Old Mint building into the city’s new visitor center and history museum. As one of the five national Historic Landmark buildings in San Francisco, the Old Mint opened in 1874 as the second United States Mint. The Old Mint survived the city’s devastating earthquake in 1906; since 1995, it has stood vacant.
Led by HOK, with engineers from Arup, the team designed a comprehensive revitalization of the Old Mint, transforming it into an important civic space.
The designers have the project a model of sustainability, using many of the features of the original architecture to their advantage. The thick limestone walls, for example, provide thermal mass. Narrow floor plates and a large, central courtyard allow natural light into most spaces. Operable windows allow for natural ventilation.
The design adds a graceful glass canopy covering the historic courtyard. The canopy protects the limestone walls and creates a new year-round public space below. It serves as the key element in a passive ventilation system, which allows warm air to rise and escape through the canopy, drawing outside air in through open windows and surrounding galleries. The glass canopy also supports the goal of bringing daylight into the interior.
100,000 sq. ft. / 9,300 sq. m.