Huh. This is a first.
Over at 1488 Harrison in South of Market, a top-floor loft lands on the market this week. Two beds. Two baths. Roughly 1,185 square feet. Nothing particularly unusual about it, really. That is, until you step foot in the kitchen.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night snacking all come with a large, awkward seismic beam jutting out diagonally from the middle of your new kitchen.
The condo, housed inside an old manufacturing building, was seismically retrofitted after it went residential years prior. Which is fantastic. Yet the owners built this unit’s kitchen around a small portion of the large cross brace. Which is not at all fantastic.
A reportedly licensed architect on Reddit explains in detail:
What is that thing?
You are seeing a small portion of a large cross brace. Similar to what is on the right of this image
When a change in building use is made, in this case from a Factory and Industrial to Residential, it usually triggers a seismic upgrade, meaning the braces were added to make the building code compliant.
For uses list see section 302.1 General in the California Building Code
The listing says it was built in 2001 but I assume that was the latest renovation and the seismic upgrade happened at some time before that meaning the latest designers were stuck with the existing structural layout.
Why didn’t they think to put an island there, or something?
This is just a guess but when you are laying out a multi-unit complex inside of an existing envelope there are going to be weird conflicts like this. I would argue this isn’t acceptable, but someone decided it was okay. One of the major challenges in multi-family properties is to stack the plumbing walls on top of each other so that you don’t have complicated and expensive rerouting issues.
Also you would set out the standard widths of each unit and be more or less stuck with those dimensions to maximize the total number, especially in a high per sq. ft. area such as San Francisco.
Asking price is $995,000. Silver lining: At least there’s no shower in the kitchen.