South San Francisco, CA
Located in a long-vacant former bank, the Economic Advancement Center provides a diverse and under-served population job training and employment resources. Our task was to make the EAC to feel more like an enticing start-up environment than a government facility.
The welcoming vibe started outside the building with new, wall-mounted signage in Century Gothic and illuminated with a picture-light style fixture. It continues inside with a color palette of blue, gray and white. The plan is divided into public areas, a workplace for the City and the two non-profits operating the Center. The lobby’s green wall installation functions as a visual focal point at the entry and as a space divider, housing the Center’s public resource library and the innovation classroom area behind it.
Our design consists of small, efficient gestures done on a minimal budget that infuse the space with energy and vitality. The EAC is a community center of sorts, welcoming job seekers and entrepreneurs and making a significant impact on South City and San Mateo County.
Ernesto Lucero / Economic Development Coordinator, City of South San Francisco
When WDA got involved, we didn’t have a big budget, and we weren’t sure if we even needed to bring on an architect. I look back and wonder if we hadn’t gone that route, what would it even look like? The space probably wouldn’t be the same – it would look like an unremarkable government building.