Ghirardelli Square Residential Condos

With its high-end restaurants, art galleries, spa facilities, and spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Ghirardelli Square represents a blend of 19th century historic architecture and 21st century technology, including a high performance architectural coating system from Tnemec. “It’s a beautiful location near Fisherman’s Wharf looking out over the Golden Gate Bridge,” according to Tnemec coating consultant Wendy Amos. “We were involved with the conversion of these historic buildings into luxury residential condos featuring original brickwork and exposed beams dating back to the 1800s.”

Protective coatings were specified for the interior windows in each of the 53 partial ownership condos, as well as all exterior metal surfaces including picket railing, steel balcony structures, handrails, fire escapes, and decorative panels on the door screens. Prior to coating, the metal was prepared in accordance with SSPC-SP2 Hand Tool Cleaning and SSPC-SP3 Power Tool Cleaning to remove all loose mill scale, rust, paint, and other foreign matter.

Series 394 PerimePrime, a moisture-cured, mio-zinc filled polyurethane primer, was specified for its superior adhesion to marginally prepared rusty steel and tightly adhering older coatings. “PerimePrime offers good performance properties with minimal surface preparation,” Amos advised.

Series 1029 Enduratone, a high dispersion, pure acrylic polymer, was specified as the finish coat for its good color and gloss stability and low volatile organic compound (VOC) content. Since Ghirardelli Square is on the National Register of Historic Places, all colors of the finish coating had to be approved. “There was a color expert hired for this project,” Amos recalled. “We provided several panels and color samples when they went through the process of picking colors. Only one standard color was used - the rest were all custom colors.”

The specification called for two coats of Enduratone, which were brush- and roller-applied. “Coating contractors love to use this coating because it’s a single component product and they don’t have pot life and recoat windows to worry about,” Amos added. “It has a fast dry time, which is important in coastal exposures that are subject to high humidity and salt fog.”

The private residence condos occupy the historic cocoa, mustard, clock tower, woolen mill, and apartment buildings that were part of the original Ghirardelli chocolate factory complex in the 1800s. The two- and three-bedroom condos are operated by Fairmont Heritage Place.

    Project Information

    San Francisco, California

    September 2008

    JMA Ventures, LLC of San Francisco, California

    Field Applicator
    A&B Painting, Inc. of San Francisco, California

    Hornberger & Worstell of San Francisco, California

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