When packed into a crowded, urban environment, how do you renovate an old gem while adding a new one?
When packed into a crowded, urban environment, how do you renovate an old gem while adding a new one?

San Francisco Olympic Club

In busy downtown San Francisco, the simultaneous historic renovation of the oldest athletic club in the nation along with its new, 10-story sister facility made this project a huge task, with extensive excavation, construction challenges, and careful seismic modernization.
Customized Solution
  • The renovation of the historic 1910, brick masonry structure included accommodating 18 new hotel rooms and other programming. The upper two floors were completely removed and replaced while maintaining the existing outer historic masonry walls. Among many structural improvements, the project team modernized the interior including the pool with its signature, majestic skylights.
  • The new, 10-story sister facility contains a swimming pool with a movable bottom, locker rooms, a gymnasium, and seven levels of parking (one below grade). The building extends 70 feet below and 90 feet above grade. Working in a very tight, urban site with adjacent buildings on 3 property lines, the structure required complex underpinning and shoring of the adjacent structures and soil during excavation and construction.
  • Forell | Elsesser provided prompt guidance when faced with multiple unforeseen conditions, allowing the project to stay on schedule with minimized costs. When existing foundations of the historic building were uncovered, several deviations from the original plans were present, requiring fast design revisions. Then, just two months before the publicized grand opening, severely corroded reinforcement was uncovered demanding extensive exploration and repair that the project team designed and implemented in a tight time frame.

Athletic Facilities, Historic Renovation

  • Architect: Hornberger + Worstell, Inc., General Contractor: Plant Construction
  • Owner: San Francisco Olympic Club
  • The new building is steel framed with concrete shear and retaining walls below grade and concrete moment frames above grade. The original building uses shotcrete to reinforce existing masonry walls.
  • New structure extends 70 feet below grade and 90 feet above, requiring extensive excavation and shoring of neighboring buildings