Oakland, CA
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The 1955 sci-fi thriller It Came from Beneath the Sea involves a very large octopus and San Francisco's Embarcadero. Leviathan recreates Sea near the waterfront in Oakland - a great, green, marine monster seemingly perched atop the place, long tentacles dangling over the side.

One of the lesser known truths about Oakland is that the city is a great container shipping terminal. Last year, 1,554 ships, carrying 14,973,870 tons of cargo in 1,124,123 containers called at the Port of Oakland. The Port's environs include vast railyards, the Alameda Naval Air Station, and a sprawling warehouse district.

From this industrial context surfaces Leviathan, a small commercial building, including the architects' studio.

This building, like its setting, is a maritime assemblage. The front of the building, like a ship's bough, pitches forward. Dark grey, cool, smooth metal panels are the color of Navy ships; the texture of wet whale skin.

Topside, a great green gargoyle of a sea creature is apparently newly-emerged from the nearby estuary. Dorsal fins, pointing north, gather light into the studio. Head, beak, and tentacles are studio, balcony, and supports. Copper scales form green skin.

The back of the building is a ship's bridge. Corrugated sheathing is kin to the material of seagoing containers.

In the belly of the monster, drafters share with both Geppetto and Jonah. Walls stained wood chip panels appear the color and texture of fish flesh; galvanized ribs delineate drafting positions; copper-finished stairs lead inside the creature's cranium.

Red and white-checked patterning on water towers at the nearby Alameda Naval Air Station alerts pilots and averts calamity. At Leviathan, this effect is contextual, but strictly decorative.

A drafting room at Leviathan's interior is skylit by north-facing glass monitors in the building's sawtooth roof. Spiral-wound galvanized ductwork forms the room's 'spine', and upright steel trusses the 'ribs'.
Building is composed of corrugated metal, copper shingles, and flat metal panels
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