Kanawha Design Studio
We use design and technology as tools to help collaborative communities.

Red Victorian

San Francisco Coliving

The Problem Jessy Kate Schingler and the Embassy Network, a new model for urban coliving, had just taken over a 1904 Victorian hotel and commercial space. The previous owner, Sami Sunchild fully embraced the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and maintained the 1968 aesthetic. Jessy Kate needed to simultaneously maintain the relationship with the existing community and update the design and the business model.

The Solution The Embassy Network model is downtown living communities that include long term residents, extended stay guests and temporary hotel/hostel rooms. The emphasis is on community and self-governance, with shared resources available to all of the guests such as a big living/work areas and a kitchen. Ideally, a member of the Embassy could live in any location, having ownership and community in any large city. While the project was too large for one summer, we worked extensively to provide solid design and systems to set up the project.

My Role This project was a holistic combining of a new living model into an old and particular space. Because of that I participated in almost every aspect of the conversion, including demolition, stinky carpet removal, permit drawings for demolition and ADA accessibility standards, project management and finish design. I even detailed out some custom bookshelves to create a “medium gradient” space. The project involved a lot of collaborative brainstorming with very smart people and the result is one of the first successful models of this type of coliving community.