Status: Complete

[image alt text: blueprint of floorplan of San Francisco's Savings & Loan.]

riors of Connecticut General,
initiating a long and fruitful
relationship between SOM and
It was largely through the in-
terest and talent of architect
Davis Allen, however, that in-
terior design at SOM grew to be
the viable entity it is today.
Caught up in the enthusiasm
for Modernism of the day after
three years at Yale in the mid-
40s discovering the Bauhaus
and the teachings of Gropius
and Mies, he had also travelled
to Finland to see the work of
Aalto and to Sweden where he
was impressed by the integra-
tion of the arts and architec-
ture. After a period spent
working at Knoll, during its
early years as the most revolu-
tionary furniture manufacturer
in America, and at the firm of
Harrison & Abromowitz, then
working on the United Nations
building, he joined SOM in
Beginning with Chicago's In-
land Steel project in 1958, Al-
len and his interiors teams pro-
vided corporate chairmen with
transparent, luminous interi-
ors, free-flowing open spaces
punctuated by custom de-
signed furniture that hovered
on slender legs. The new design
was a necessary and appro-
priate complement to the new
transparent steel and glass cur-
tain wall buildings and Allen's
work expanded to include the
design of virtually every interi-
or element, including fabric,
rugs, table linens, silverware
and accessories, establishing a
tradition of integrated design
that persists today at SOM.
The projects that followed
evolved from the strict Mod-
ernism of the Chase Manhat-
tan Bank ('59 and '61) and
Union Carbide ('61) projects,
to a more eclectic aesthetic,
such as in the Mauna Kea
Beach Hotel ('65), with its cus-
tom wicker furniture, local ma-
terials and regional crafts as art
objects, and the Banque Lam-
bert in Brussels ('65), a clean,
crisp background for the
client's art and antiques collec-
tion. Richer color and materi-
als began to appear in the '70s,
in the American Can Co. and
National Life and Accident
Co. (both 1970) and the Ma-
rine Trust Co., Buffalo, 1974.
In addition to custom
pieces, Allen designed furni-

Project: San Francisco Federal Savings &
Architect/interior designer: Skidmore,
Owings & Merrill, San Francisco

Individuals responsible: Robert H.
Armsby (management partner), Lawrene
Doane (design partner), Richard Hampel
(project manager), Allison Williams
(senior designer, architecture), Richard
Irving (senior designer, architecture), Richard
Irving (senior designer interiors), Joseph
Lipkos (job captain)
General contractor: Swinerton &
Walberg Company
Special consultants: Skidmore, Owings
& Merrill, San Francisco (engineering),
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, San
Francisco (graphics), The Engineering
Enterprise, Dan Dibble (lighting)
Floors/floorcoverings: Edward Fields,
Inc., Design Weave, Azrock, Robert
Cunningham Co., American Olean
Walls/wallcoverings: Jack Lenor Larsen,
Fuller-O'Brien, Design Workshops,
American Olean, Robert Cunningham Co.
Ceilings: Celotex, Donn, U.S. Gypsum
Doors/hardware: Design Workshops,
D-F-WCo., Cookson, Stanley,
Rixson-Freemark, Yale, Tydix, Norton

Window treatment: Coddledick-Kibbe,
Tech Shades
Lighting/lamps: Shaper Lighting
(custom), Kurt Versen, Lucifer, Lite
Signage: Thomas Swan Signs
Bathroom fixtures: American Standard,
Upholstery fabrics: Spinneybeck,
Randolph & Hein, Unika-Vaev,
SunarHauserman Textiles
Furniture: Knoll International, Herman
Miller, Brueton, Brickel Associates,
Axiom Designs, Zographos, Shaw-Walker
Fabricators for custom furniture: Design
Custom metalwork: Devincenzi
Architectural Products

Above: bank occupies 6,000
square feet on prominent
corner site. In formal axial
plan, entrance rotunda leads
straight to safe deposit area,
right to banking hall, left to
customer service hall.

Opposite: Lower portion of
space was articulated with
black and white stone, while
top remains neutral. Much
custom furniture throughout
is fixed for longevity.

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