Wire Mesh Infill Railings Provide Limited Distractions at Art Institute

Situated at the edge of San Francisco Bay, the historic U.S. Army warehouse, known as Pier 2 at Fort Mason, has been transformed into a campus for arts education and public engagement for the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). The adaptive rehabilitation of SFAI’s Pier 2 at Fort Mason resulted in the design of an open-air, two-story atrium surrounded by infill railings made from Banker Wire’s M13Z-145 wire mesh pattern in stainless steel.

The two-story atrium is surrounded by infill railings made from a wire mesh pattern in stainless steel.
The two-story atrium is surrounded by infill railings made from a wire mesh pattern in stainless steel.

Within this landmark structure, the interior design interweaves historic and contemporary elements, in which the M13Z-145 mesh attributed to the modern design. In addition to its stylish aesthetic for this application, the wire mesh is structurally sound for the high-traffic area.

“Banker Wire offers a lot of great options, and we chose the M13Z-145 pattern for its durability within an institutional environment,” states Ryan Jang, AIA, LEED AP, Associate Principal, San Francisco-based architecture firm Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects (LMSA), which oversaw the project.

Defined by large scale, rigid cable patterns, the M13Z-145 wire mesh provides limited distractions in a space conceived to cultivate an artist’s personal creativity. This wire mesh pattern creates the appearance of continuous lines along the length of the railings on the stairways and second-level balconies, as a result of the wide aspect ratio and length of the mesh’s three-wire bundle.

The M13Z-145 wire mesh provides limited distractions in a space meant to cultivate an artist’s personal creativity.
The M13Z-145 wire mesh provides limited distractions in a space meant to cultivate an artist’s personal creativity.

“We are extremely happy with Banker Wire’s product and the transparency of M13Z-145 for this railing infill,” says Jang. “This wire mesh pattern allows a greater sense of openness within the two-story atrium and greater visibility between the circulation of spaces on both levels of historic Pier 2.”

SFAI’s Pier 2 at Fort Mason features more than 160 studios, public exhibition galleries, performance installation rooms, multipurpose teaching spaces, a black box theater, and a workshop. Founded in 1871, SFAI is a non-profit art college that has maintained a reputation for being one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious schools of higher education in contemporary art for both undergraduate and graduate studies.  

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