Northern California APWA Project Awards




Today was the APWA Northern California Chapter Project Awards ceremony. MSA's Antioch Health Center, located in Contra Costa County won the best Structure (Between $5 & $25 Million) Award.

MSA performed the master planning and architectural design of this site in Antioch for development as two separate new buildings, the Antioch Health Center and Epic-Care Cancer Center. The Antioch Health Center Building is a 24,000 sq. ft. Antioch Health Center for CCHS, housing Children’s Behavioral Health and Adult Medical Care Clinic.

Shawn Square.jpg


Congratulations to our Project Architect Shawn Anderson!

 Another congratulations to the Developer Todd Berryhill, MarketOne Builders and Contra Costa County.

 Another congratulations to the Developer Todd Berryhill, MarketOne Builders and Contra Costa County.

California Energy Code changes 2017




Changes in the 2016 California Energy Code,
beginning January 1, 2017

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) have launched a Zero Net Energy Action Plan to build a self-sustaining market for all new commercial buildings to be net-zero energy by 2030. This is changing the way buildings are constructed in California.

After 30 years of construction, the CEC estimates that these savings will add up to the equivalent energy use of twelve large power plants.

The “path to ZNE” approach is a set of steps developed by PIET to address zero net energy projects for buildings and communities. This methodology was developed for projects aiming at significantly

The “path to ZNE” approach is a set of steps developed by PIET to address zero net energy projects for buildings and communities. This methodology was developed for projects aiming at significantly

Zero Net Energy is defined as: "The societal value of energy consumed by the building over the course of a typical year is less than or equal to the societal value of the on-site renewable energy generated."
Revised Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Definition
"In other words, a zero-net-energy building produces as much energy as it consumes, usually through a mix of high efficiency and clean onsite generation. The definition requires that a home create as much energy as it uses over the course of an entire year, rather than on a real-time basis."
— Paraphrased from:
California Wants All New Homes to Be Net Zero in 2020

Major commercial energy-savings improvements include:

  • High-performance walls: The standards would require increased wall insulation in most climate zones. These levels can be met with a variety of construction assemblies, including both 2x4 and 2x6 construction.
  • High-performance attics: The standards give builders the options to either increase attic sealing and insulation or move ducts into conditioned space (either by installing a ductless system or placing ductwork in parts of the home that are already heated and cooled).
  • High-performance lighting: The new standards will cut lighting energy in homes by almost half by requiring a high-efficacy bulb (such as a CFL or LED) in every socket. The standards also sets quality performance requirements to ensure that these bulbs meet consumer expectations. The standards provide builders flexibility by allowing screw-based bulbs for most socket-types.
  • Water heating: The new standards require the use of an instantaneous tankless gas water heater, which saves energy by heating water on demand rather than storing it in a tank, or one with equivalent energy performance.

MSA is available to discuss the process of meeting the California Energy Code for any building project. Please Do
not hesitate to contact us on current or future projects.

BARRY'S BOOTCAMP | 333 Bush Street




MSA's latest project, another Barry's Bootcamp expansion is almost complete!  The 5,800 square foot space at 333 Bush Street in the Financial District plans to open this spring 2017.

Barry’s Bootcamp new location at 333 Bush Street

Lauded as “The Best Workout in the World,” Barry's Bootcamp has been challenging patrons since 1998 and arrived in the Bay Area in 2014 with MSA executing the new locations.

The reception desk at Barry’s Bootcamp in the Marina

Barry's opened its first San Francisco location in SoMa near AT&T Park. A second location in the Marina on Lombard street and more expansions coming soon to the Bay Area.

Hospitality Design called the project "Instagrammable Fitness"!

This year, make your weaknesses your strengths!

Annual Holiday Food Drive | 2017

The MSA team was proud to participate in a holiday food drive for the Alameda County Community Food Bank. In addition to filling our bin, we were also able to raise donations for the food bank as well. We're proud to be apart of the Oakland community and we will continue to give back throughout 2017!

Happy Holidays from MSA

It’s the season for giving thanks and we are filled with a deep sense of gratitude for the good fortune MSA architecture + design has been blessed with this year.

2016 was a big year for MSA. We had a milestone birthday of 40 years and moved from San Francisco to an amazing office space located in Uptown Oakland.

Thank you to all of our Clients, Colleagues and Friends for a fantastic 2016. Check out some photos from our White Elephant Holiday Party. 


From the bottom of our hearts, we wish everyone a great holiday season and a Happy New Year!  Please have safe travels and joyous celebrations.

Innovative Convenience Store Design


Designing a new convenience store is a challenge.  MSA worked with A.U. Energy to create a growth strategy based on a completely new convenience store design.  The concept was based on a deep assessment of customer experience expectations across key growth segments, including women and millennial.

Everyone these days seems to want a piece of the convenience store pie. Big-box retailers are scaling down to small boxes that consumers can navigate more quickly and easily. Drugstores are adding fresh food and beverages to their traditional health and wellness mix. And grocery stores are increasingly offering online ordering with home delivery or at-store pickup.

“Loop is our high-end convenience market,” Goyal of A.U. Energy says. “We are trying to cater to the healthier side of what people want, healthy and fresh. It’s got a lot of the same things that you see in a convenience store—We still sell cigarettes and chips and soda and candy—but we also have a lot of things that you wouldn’t traditionally see—a salad bar, an espresso bar, frozen yogurt, kale chips, edemame.”

LOOP’s six stores are bright and bold, filled with gourmet and upscale products. Shelving has a low profile; coolers are open and easy to access. They’re filled with beverages like coconut water, kombucha and aloe to complement the energy drinks and carbonated soft drinks.

After successfully piloting the new design at an existing convenience store in Silicon Valley, LOOP was launched as a newly branded store.  The new store has achieved a 250% improvement in sales growth and is setting a new standard in the industry.

Photo above is a collage of before images from the store.  

Photo above is a collage of before images from the store. 

Award: Best Retail Storefront

The Tesla Showroom located in the Broadway Plaza in downtown Walnut Creek has won Best Retail Storefronts in the 2016 Walnut Creek Action for Beauty Council Awards.

Congratulations to our teammate Shawn Anderson, the Project Architect!     Shawn is a licensed architect with more than 20 years of experience in the field of architecture, design and construction, including a variety of project types.  His previous work includes healthcare, educational, civic, high tech, industrial, retail, corporate office, and residential projects.  He provides strong project management skills through all phases, from programming, planning and design through construction administration. Shawn is also a licensed contractor an LEED accredited professional.

Congratulations to our teammate Shawn Anderson, the Project Architect!

Shawn is a licensed architect with more than 20 years of experience in the field of architecture, design and construction, including a variety of project types.  His previous work includes healthcare, educational, civic, high tech, industrial, retail, corporate office, and residential projects.  He provides strong project management skills through all phases, from programming, planning and design through construction administration.
Shawn is also a licensed contractor an LEED accredited professional.

40th Anniversary | Open House


A very warm thank you to everyone who joined us for our open house party! We had a great time and it was wonderful gather with friends, associates and colleagues. We want to thank everyone that has helped make MSA the successful firm that it is today and look forward to another 40 years to come.



We are proud to announce that we are relocating our main office to 360 Plaza in Oakland, California. Stay tune for the new office opening party.

NeoCon 2015!

NeoCon 2015!

The high from NeoCon has just about faded and as various organizations prepare their Post NeoCon events, we thought it was time for us to share what we thought of this year’s event. NeoCon is a three day event where over 50,000 design professionals view and interact with new products from over 700 manufacturers within the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, Illinois. Debbie Loughran and Ed Frey represented the MSA team this year and here is a bit of what they shared upon their return:


After years of bold, saturated colors, we’re very happy to start seeing a much softer color palette. There was an array of interesting combinations – colors from different eras mixed with beautiful earth tones. Blush made a strong appearance and it’s safe to say it’s the color of the moment.


As the line between work and home continues to blur, residential was a big theme this year. West Elm’s collaboration with Inscape was creating a buzz with their variety of mid-century, modern, industrial, and contemporary styles. Herman Miller (a favorite of the MSA office), is having a lot of fun this season – they shared whimsical color palettes across a variety of their mid-century modern styled pieces and are also playing with residential inspired themes. OFS delivered on its tech-friendly, DIY sensibility. Their casual but elegant palettes have always left you feeling at home, fitting right in with this year’s overarching theme. Haworth showcased their collaboration with Patricia Urquolia and is redefining the workplace. Their pieces soften the look of the relationship between workplace and technology. Geiger is using tapestries to remind us of their dedication to sophistication and refinement.


We all understand the value of real estate and that maximizing space is essential. Knoll and Steelcase showed that being able to provide power at ANY spot within an open space is not only valuable, but possible! Watson provides a great solution to the bench delivering ultimate flexibility with an agile center deck that allows users to adjust based on function, workstyle, and personal preference.


Steelcase has always been the leader in research driven design and they did not disappoint this year. An accessory they chose to showcase was their “smart” panel. You’re able to program the panel to communicate a wide range of information – a name plate, meeting reminders, break reminders, and can been illuminated either green or red to inform neighbors if you’re available.

From a diversity of color and beautiful textiles to redefining the bench system and ergonomic solutions to lounge seating, NeoCon provided an incredible amount of inspiration that MSA can’t wait to start incorporating into projects as we partner with current and future clients! Take a look through the photos below to see some of the products mentioned above and keep in mind, there’s only 328 days until NeoCon 2016!

Meet MSA

Meet MSA

Welcome to the first installment of Meet MSA! This is where we will be featuring one staff member each month  and sharing a bit about their contributions to our team. Check out the whole team here and be sure to follow us on social media to see who we feature next!

ron raiche, project manager

Ron's passion for architecture started to take shape as a kid growing up in Newport, RI. He would sketch buildings rooted in fantasy and science fiction and would later explore more realistic forms as dense urban landscapes. He studied architecture in college and pulled inspiration from working as a tour guide of the gilded mansions he grew up around and studying art and architecture in Florence, Italy.

Before joining the MSA team, Ron was an in-house store designer with Starbucks Coffee, where he had the opportunity to work in Seattle, San Francisco, and London - supporting their new store growth in the UK and Ireland. Because of Ron's Starbucks background and previous retail experience, he has taken the lead on MSA's Starbucks projects and is currently working on locations in Novato, Sacramento, and San Francisco along with One Market Plaza. These projects have allowed Ron to connect with city agencies, which stimulates thinking about information in a different way, something he values greatly.

When Ron isn't preparing a coffee tasting for our weekly staff meeting, he can be found attending any number of live performances in the city. he subscribes to the full seasons of the SF Symphony, SF Playhouse, New Conservatory Theatre Center, American Conservatory Theater, and Magic Theater. For live bands he frequents The Independent, The Fillmore, The Fox, The Chapel, Slims, and Great American Music Hall.

jonathan arban, designer

Jonathan stumbled across his passion for design in a very familiar place - Lego's. After building his ideas as a kid, he found himself sketching interiors during high school algebra and would later help build stage props for theater productions. It was at this point that he realized his excitement for taking ideas from sketch to reality.

Jonathan earned his Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from The Art Institute and after a few positions with independent architects and furniture companies, was brought into MSA as a consultant. His skill and technique in 3D rendering (among other things) elevated MSA's design presentations and after a few short months, Jonathan was offered a full-time position. He is currently working on new offices for Universal Music Group at 201 Spear, a new Philz Coffee location in Hollywood, and Macy's retail in both Guam and Downtown Los Angeles.

As a Sunday school teacher, Jonathan is heavily involved with his church and can usually be found bowling, playing basketball, or connecting with his inner Bobby Fisher through a game of chess.

Retail & Technology

Retail & Technology

MSA has experience designing retail spaces at a variety of scales and we are always looking at how trends are evolving so we can provide clients with effective strategies. In response to last night’s Retail Tech Summit with the Northern California chapter of the Retail Design Institute (RDI) and SF Design Week, we’re looking at retail spaces and how technology is altering the way people experience retail environments. Macala Wright is a strategic and analytical marketer and is a columnist for PSFK and MASHABLE. In November of last year, after The Future of Retail conference in San Francisco, Macala wrote a piece that provided strategies for designing retail spaces: Tech + Aesthetics: 4 Ways to Design Retail Stores People Want to Shop In. The article looks at how retailers should know who their customers are and how they shop, the relationships with their customers, how employees are trained, and how shoppers are utilizing their mobile devices while shopping. MSA has several projects in the pipeline in which our designers have looked at these very things to provide our clients with the very best environments and strategies to market their products and brands. Be sure to follow us on social media and check-in to the website regularly to stay updated with our latest projects.

Designing for Wellness

Designing for Wellness

MSA has an extensive history of healthcare design working alongside clients like Sutter Health, UCSF, and Antioch Medical Center. Earlier this month, Tatiana Guimaraes, president of the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health, wrote an article for Healthcare Design Magazine. Guimaraes addresses the shift in healthcare that is causing institutions to rethink their operations and how they engage with surrounding communities.  It used to be that healthcare campuses were designed inward, paying close attention to how on-site movement was managed, blocked from surroundings with barriers of parking. With the emergence of “health districts,” Guimareaes says the master planning of hospital campuses will start to look very different. She says we can envision commercial space, public space, and wellness programs connected through a campus that interacts with its surrounding community. You can find her article here and be sure to take a look at MSA’s healthcare projects to see how we’re evolving with healthcare campuses of the future.

The Science of Standing

The Science of Standing

MSA is constantly looking at ways to improve the workplace to better suit the needs and comfort of our clients. We do this by looking beyond current trends and implementing innovative solutions like active work stations. Eric Jaffe of CityLab recently wrote an article for Fast Company Design narrating analysis on the various physiological benefits of active workstations and how they sustain workflow and improve mood. If your office has been thinking about creating a more active environment, take a peek at Eric’s article and get in touch with us, our team of designers will help create a space that recognizes how your health is just as important as your brand. 

We're now MSA architecture + design!

We're now MSA architecture + design!

Architecture has always been the center of MSA’s design culture – it’s one of the things we do best. We have an extensive and impressive history of designing functional yet inspiring spaces, and we felt it was time our name reflected our culture. We’ll continue to provide more than just great design; our clients can still expect to find a partner with MSA, and a resource for the latest trends to create spaces that not only fulfill current needs, but are just as relevant and innovative as your brand.

Winner: Best Office Build-Out of 2015

Winner: Best Office Build-Out of 2015

On March 26th, MSA was awarded Best San Francisco Office Build-Out of 2015 for Macy’ at 680 Folsom. This project was a collaborative effort and we want to wish congratulations to all teams involved. The initial vision started with TMG Partners, Rockwood Capital, and the current building owner, Boston Properties. A project like 680 Folsom is dependent on funding and would not have been possible without the efforts of people like Chris Roeder of JLL and Dan Cressman of Newmark Cornish & Carey, who are constantly going the extra mile to close a deal in the best way possible. This collaboration achieved great potential by turning 680 Folsom, an obsolete and empty space, into one of the most contemporary buildings in San Francisco.

ULI Case Study: 680 Folsom Street - San Francisco

ULI Case Study: 680 Folsom Street - San Francisco

When TMG Partners and Rockwood Capital acquired the outdated 680 Folsom Street along with two adjacent buildings in the heart of downtown San Francisco in 2010, all these options were possible. In the end, they chose to redesign and reshape the outdated concrete-box 680 Folsom by replacing the core and building systems, adding horizontal and vertical space, and replacing the concrete facade with a new glass facade that completely revised the structure’s image. A new concrete core was added to optimize and seismically strengthen the structure, which now exceeds seismic code requirements.

OFFICELOVIN' featuring

OFFICELOVIN' featuring

Fashion giant Macy’s recently moved into the new, tech-worker friendly headquarters, located in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood, which has become a mecca for startups and tech companies of all sizes. Our favourite part of this space which was designed by MSA architecture + design is the amazing panoramic view of San Francisco.


Looking to create your dream office space?  MSA is here to help.


Looking to create your dream office space? MSA is here to help.

5 Steps To Finding Your Way With MSA:

  1. First, hire the right architecture + design firm... we highly recommend ourselves!
  2. Secondly, tell us how many employees you currently have and your general expected growth rate.

  3. Decide if your company's heart is set on a certain location in San Francisco like SoMa, Mid-Market or FiDi and if being close to public transportation is important to you.
  4. With our help, we can then walk through your specific office needs.
    • Does your company require private offices, conference rooms or phone rooms?
    • Do you want to create a benching system for your employees?
    • Would you like to add a fun game room or break room?
  5. And last but not least, determine your budget for the new space and let us know.

Time to select a real estate broker and take tours of the top locations with us by your side.  Once you choose your top 3 spots, MSA will then get busy creating a test fit to see which space works best for your new HQ.