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Building du Jour: 855 Folsom

Most of the loft condominiums built here in the past ten years don't have much in common with the re-purposed 19th century commercial buildings that artists moved into in New York in the 60's. Our lofts have more to do with the unenclosed mezzanine usually identified as a bedroom, a direct descendant of haylofts, overlooking the large open living-dining-kitchen area. These have developed their own design vocabulary, producing a kind of yuppie-generic drywalled starter apartment.

855 Folsom falls into that format, but the vocabulary is unigue, having been designed by Stanley Saitowitz and his firm, Natoma Architects, who are better known for luxuriously minimalist dwellings. Like this splendid pad for $6M, or this one that sold for something south of $8M. 855 Folsom's got similarly cool, minimalist spaces with poured concrete and translucent glass details but the prices (all resales) range from the high $500K's to around $1M for larger units with big terraces. But you never wonder what grungy SoMA side street you're on. 855 looks like nowhere else. Units on the quiet, south-facing Shipley Street side of the building, some of which have private gardens, fetch a premium.

Minimalist goes a long way to describing the interiors. This building may predate the iPod, but it was designed with sleek and small in mind. Apartments are best described as beautifully detailed and exceedingly snug. Have a look:
· 855 Folsom, 599K [Michael Broerman, Group MB via MLS]
· 855 Folsom, 649K [Michael Broerman, Group MB via MLS]
· 855 Folsom, 689K [Michael Broerman, Group MB via MLS]

· The Proto-Loft, Reborn [NY Times]
· Saitowitz/Natoma Office
· Yerba Buena Lofts
· Making it New Again [Curbed]