As with all projects, safety was a priority when DPR began the interior improvements on a 24,000-sq.-ft., two-story, former warehouse. The $1.9 million project entailed turning the interior of a “barn-like” structure into law offices in 15 weeks. However, the architect was not the only creative force at work on the new space for Gunderson Dettmer in Menlo Park, California. DPR got inspired when it saw its crews would need to work on a mezzanine level 9½ ft. above the ground. Added to the rectangular tilt-up structure to provide a second floor of offices, the mezzanine had no safety rail at the outset of the project. DPR suggested encasing the ductwork that ran along the outside perimeter of the mezzanine floor in gypsum. This created a bench seat to which a temporary, and later permanent, handrail and barrier were attached – providing a safer working environment and a unique feature to the finished space.

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