Eight Inc. designed DonorsChoose's new San Francisco offices in the bustling Union Square neighborhood. "As an ongoing demonstration of extreme generosity, Eight Inc. has transformed our San Francisco office into a world-class space rivaled only by its New York counterpart," commented Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org.
This school year alone, the non-profit organization will deliver over $100 million in classroom supplies, field trips, and resources to classrooms across the country. "Working with the team at DonorsChoose.org has been incredibly rewarding," stated Mark Little, Principal at Eight Inc. "We are proud to have helped create a new experience for them in support of their mission to help build futures for today's youth."
Housed in the 1920's Varlow Building, DonorsChoose.org occupies an entire floor of this historic building. In collaboration with VWB Architects, the new space has been created to support their unique business model and working style. The most significant feature in the space is a centrally located "fort" built from a system of modular wood boxes. This structure houses multiple functions and removable panels of felt, chalkboard material or wood allow for infinite combinations of use and aesthetic. The space accommodates a meeting room, a study nook, pin-up surfaces and multiple options for storage and display. Workstations and collaborative tables are dispersed throughout the space to provide a variety of public and private working postures.
Other physical interventions are minimal to respect the historic fabric of the building. Floor to ceiling windows on one end look out onto the Powell St. cable car line giving users a strong connection to the city in which they live and work. Expanses of brick wall are exposed and the unique coffered concrete ceiling offers an opportunity to highlight the beauty of the existing building structure.
Like its headquarters in New York, this space was a collaboration amongst local craftsmen, donations and volunteers, all to help support the continuing success of DonorsChoose.org. "Our team, no matter which office they call home, feels more connected to one another and to our mission of getting materials and experiences into public school classrooms," Best concluded.
Photography: Aubrie Pick