I had visited almost all of Palladio's buildings in the Veneto when I was asked to do a "Palladian" style showroom by one of San Francisco's leading antique dealers.

The site for this 16th century building was an abandoned railroad track in a former swamp, that had become San Francisco's design district. Poor soil required the building float on a 2' thick concrete raft.

The plan has a simple rhythm, identical 1:2 rectangular rooms at either end of the building and in the center a square 2:2 room. This interior room is lit by a roof lantern supported on four Doric columns. 

A hall links the 3 major spaces, high walled gardens enclose both ends.

There were budget problems, I had designed custom pot de feu in which the flames were blown East in response to San Francisco's constant West wind. Instead off the shelf 18th century models were substituted on piers and pediments.

Twenty years later the building was purchased by Restoration Hardware.

I am proud to say after a recent visit that the spaces still sing, the details are strong and the gardens a wonderfully urban amenity.