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To use design to help our clients succeed.

We create exceptional environments that meet our clients' most complex design challenges.

We inspire people through our work by expressing timeless cultural, organizational and personal values.

We connect people and place with ideas that come from many minds and imaginations.

We care about serving our clients, enriching lives, improving communities and protecting our natural environment through design.

We are a global architecture, design, engineering and planning firm.

60+ Years of Design + Innovation

Preserving the Past, Saving the Future

San Francisco Museum at the Mint
San Francisco, California, USA



“The Old Mint stands a chance to be one of the greenest museums on the books.”


The design team set out to create the most environmentally innovative National Historic Landmark in the United States.

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 team applied principles of biomimicry, using nature as a model to guide the adaptive reuse design.

The designers have made 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.


Facility Programming
Interior Design
Sustainable Consulting


26 August 2015
“Biomimicry Inspires True Innovation”

7 February 2014
“Biomimicry for an Innovative Built Environment”

9 January 2014
“How Reverse Engineering Can Spur Design Innnovation”
Fast Co.Exist 

November 2012
“What’s Old is New Again”

27 July 2012
“Old San Francisco Mint to Become a Gorgeous Green Museum”

28 May 2012
“Steampunking San Francisco’s Old Mint”
Fast Co. Exist

25 February 2012
“Greening San Francisco’s Old Mint”