What was once an old industrial laundry in the heart of the Mission is now the headquarters for Heath Ceramics, and the space houses what must be one of the most magical creative studios in San Francisco. When the Heath team began imagining their new showroom, production space, and headquarters several years ago, they thought they would have to head to Oakland. But with the help of the nonprofit SFMade, an organization dedicated to building the local manufacturing sector, the ceramics maker found their current Mission home. The huge building allows the studio to integrate design and production, which has always been a hallmark of Heath's business. Having a shop there also means they can see people interacting with their product in the same place that it is created.
The entire Heath headquarters, from the production floor to the administrative offices, is gorgeous, but it's in the studio of San Francisco studio director Tung Chiang that the magic truly kicks up a notch. With windows overlooking the bright murals of the Mission, Heath designs everywhere, and boards filled with inspiration, the studio is where Chiang channels Heath's past and explores its future.
Down the hall are studios for other San Francisco creatives, like jewelry designers Julia Turner and Liz Oppenheim. And downstairs is the boiler room, an old industrial space that has been retrofitted for events and art exhibits. The room houses two old iron boilers that were once used on a warship in World War I and then were repurposed for the building's former life as a laundry. Spots like these allow Heath's creatives to open up their world to the city and build collaborations with people who are designing, creating, and making things in San Francisco.