Karin Payson architecture + design | Hollis Works (On The Boards)

Hollis Works (On The Boards)

Hollis Works was conceived as a campus of co-working spaces for product development and advanced manufacturing/prototyping with a component for local food and beer entrepreneurs. We have often referred to it as “Tech Shop for professionals.”

On an existing 2-acre full block site in West Oakland there are two buildings and two large yards suitable for rehabilitation and re-purposing for the Hollis Works vision. The main building, the former Romak Iron Works, is a 35,000 square foot concrete tilt-up structure with a clear height of 18’ to the bottom of the trusses in most of it. Also on the site is a “mash-up” building made up of three structures: a 2-story wood frame with a commercial ground floor, a steel frame structure with minimal cladding and a steel truss garage-like structure with a little storefront building attached on the street side.

The Romak building would be developed into co-working space, with a mix of small and large workshop/offices, some open-plan shared working spaces, flex space for meetings and events, and at least one machine shop tenant for on-site prototyping.   The “mash up” building would be developed into an on-site brewery and commercial kitchen. The kitchen could be leased to a restaurant entity or, more likely in this location, operated as a kitchen for hire, perhaps for the food-truck community.

The yard between the two buildings would be used as outdoor seating for both buildings and to host events sponsored by either the Romak building or the Food/Beverage building or even rented to outside entities for sponsored events.

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