“We wanted to create something we call ‘work nirvana,’” says Yves Béhar, “which means being able to walk to work.”
The famed designer, along with Amir Mortazavi (co-founder of M-Projects) and Steve Mohebi, opened Canopy (2193 Fillmore) this year, a new shared working space in Pacific Heights that aims to bring the office closer to home. While you won’t find a foosball table or hacker competition here, you will discover a reinterpretation of the shared workspace with a heavy dose of chic.
“We realized that in [Pacific Heights], there’s no place to go if someone wants to have a two-person or four-person meeting,” says Béhar. ”They’d have to drive downtown to find co-working space, which can be a 30-minute drive. Longer if you need to head to the Valley.”
The space, located one floor above the fray of Fillmore Street, had been empty for 30 years. It started out as 16 different rooms with sheetrock and halfpipe everywhere. While most of the space has been rebuilt and opened up, all of the fenestration is intact and reinforced, with some additional windows added to give it a Parisian effect. It pairs perfectly with the tony neighborhood.
While touring Canopy, the first thing we notice are the linear horizontal lines—lines that you can see through the steel and glass partitions, as well as the reveal in the drywall and in the baseboards. Canopy (pardon the pun) lines up together.
Triangulation is another one of the space’s geometrical themes, which can be seen on the spectacular modular 1960s Alexander Girard coffee table reissue and the Health Ceramics tile work on the kitchen and bathroom walls. Even the hand-cut custom flooring boasts an impressive chevron pattern.
Shades of purple and grey dominate the space, but the real ingénue is the natural light that floods Canopy. The skylights, for lack of a more profound term, provide the biggest gasp. Looking like freshly opened ceramic blossoms, they bathe the space in natural light. But they do more than provide diffused illumination; made with high density foam, the also cleverly function as sound abatement devices. A refreshing change from the ugly sound panels too often found in restaurants and office spaces.
The furniture is also a thrill to the touch. The couch, a Don Chadwick reissue from the 1960s, has been updated to feature and USB outlets. Which pairs nicely with the ultra-plush Joe Colombo reissue chairs whose blobby beauty hint at Canopy’s organic themes (like the aforementioned skylights, as well as the kitchen area’s chandelier inspired by the brugmansia plant.)
Béhar also features his line of furniture around Canopy, Public Office Landscape available at Herman Miller.
The first of its kind in the neighborhood, Béhar and his team hope to expand the concept to other San Francisco neighborhoods. Cole Valley, Russian Hill, Cow Hollow, and Noe Valley, just to name a hopeful few. But for now, their focus is only on Pacific Heights.
As for Canopy’s clientele, it’s a sundry of assorted types who all come to work there—nonprofits, “solopreneurs,” a handful of finance types, wine industry workers, and more. In fact, there are only a couple of tech-oriented businesses art Canopy.
Available rentals range from single desks to private offices and five- and eight-person conference rooms. Canopy members will also enjoy a fully stocked kitchen of local goods including cold pressed juice on a Juicero Press (designed by Béhar), Sight Glass Coffee, Pique Tea, and catering from Jane.
Membership starts from $650 monthly for a shared table to upwards of $4,000 monthly for a private office.