Minnesota Street Project

A Flexible Hub for the Arts

When San Francisco’s booming rental market encroached on the needs of the arts community, Jensen revamped three warehouse buildings to provide stable studio and commercial space for the city’s artists and galleries.

History Stays Alive

Within the historically industrial and rapidly developing Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco, Jensen Architects transformed a trio of warehouses into an expansive haven of art galleries, artists’ studios, and art services space. Working closely with the clients and their philanthropic mission to provide a stable home for an arts community being displaced by the escalating property costs, Jensen embraced the industrial vernacular to deliver a flexible platform for Minnesota Street Project’s pioneering program.

High-Function Hybrid

1275 Minnesota Street, the public heart of Minnesota Street Project, is a building tailored to the needs of galleries and the neighborhood. Jensen consolidated back-of-house functions into shared shipping, catering facilities, and restrooms, so the galleries could operate with less space, lowering rents. A grand central atrium fitted with bleacher stair seating, is a flexible host for a busy calendar of public programs, from intimate lectures to major art fairs. On the evenings when galleries are closed, a street front restaurant keeps the block lively.

A Bare Palette

Original architectural features of the existing building—including wood plank ceilings held up by delicate steel trusses and exposed steel columns—became central design elements, standing as artifacts of past use, marked up, rubbed raw, and laid bare. New design elements such as the exposed metal mezzanine deck and the sculpted reception stair, provide a clean contrast.

Planning Makes Perfect

This project took great advantage of zoning in San Francisco that allows for non-traditional use of buildings originally intended for production, distribution, or repair, without the need for rezoning. This allows for diversification of building use while maintaining the quality and character of the traditional neighborhood fabric. Through close partnership with consultants regarding the planning process, the project was fully operational within the tight schedule required by the client.

Minnesota Street Project, LLC
San Francisco


2017 Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Award
2017 AIA San Francisco, Merit Award


Dezeen, “Jensen Architects Converts San Francisco Warehouse into Arts Centre,” February 6, 2017
The New York Times Style Magazine, “A Guide to America’s Next Great Art Neighborhood,” January 2017
Curbed San Francisco, “San Francisco’s Best New Building Projects of 2016,” December 29, 2016
San Francisco Magazine, “The Art Project,” March 2016
7x7, “Can the Minnesota Street Project Transform Dogpatch Into a Dynamic Arts Hub?,” March 2016
Wallpaper*, “Minnesota Street Project Will Regenerate San Francisco’s Art Community,” March 2016
San Francisco Chronicle, “Bay Area art world prepares for big year of promise and challenges,” November 2015


Project Leads
Mark Jensen
Laura Messier
Audrey Harris
Ryan Golenberg
Project Team
Frank Merritt
Matt Adams
Lauren Takeda


Tipping Structural Engineers
Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing
Integral Group
Lighting, A/V
Integral Group


Plant Construction Company


Mariko Reed