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Oceanwide Centre Receives Approval

The Oceanwide Centre at San Francisco designed by Foster and Partners is all set for construction to begin as the San Francisco Planning Committee has granted permission. The project is part of the Transbay Development Plan to densify the city’s South of Market District (SOMA).

Two buildings are part of this proposal- one a 605 feet high hotel and residential tower-the Mission Street tower- and the other an 850 feet high office and residential building along First Street. The Mission Street tower stands matching the skyline of the existing scale of tall buildings in the city, the First Street tower rises above, establishing symbolically, a new vertical city.

Courtesy of Foster and Partners

Courtesy of Foster and Partners

“Significant in urban and environmental terms, the development brings together places to live and work with the city’s most important new transport hub, further evolving a sustainable model of high density, mixed-use development that the practice has always promoted. The development forms part of a rezoning plan, which was put in place to encourage density around the Transbay Terminal, and the project represents the last mixed-use development of this scale in the area.”

The glossy renderings reveal a bold tower with an interesting glazing system. The structural system designed is orthogonal, intended to provide increased structural and seismic stability. Large office floor plates will enhance flexibility of use for the tenants.

Courtesy of Foster and Partners

Courtesy of Foster and Partners

The towers do not touch the ground, but are raised above by about five storeys. The result- well, first I would imagine that this would considerably reduce or take away any sense of bulkiness and congestion that high rise towers may generally be subjecting to their bases- visually and physically. And the other is the intention of Foster+ Partners in their own words, “The point where the towers touch the ground is as important as their presence on the skyline. At ground level, the buildings are open, accessible and transparent – their base provides a new ‘urban room’ for the region, and the new pedestrian routes through the site will knit the new scheme with the urban grain of the city.”

The project would cover a staggering two million square feet area, covering 1.35 million square feet of office space and 650,000 square feet of residential units. Moreover, it is located close to the market and financial district. This would promote the use of pedestrian paths as it will be a self-sufficient development, “along with impressive new public spaces and important new pedestrian links through downtown.”

Project Information :
Architect :  Foster and Partners
Location : South of Market District, San Francisco
Project Year : Appointed in 2014
Total Area : 219,885 m²
Collaborating Architect:  Heller Manus Architects
Structural Engineer: Magnusson Klemencic Associates
M+E Engineers: Foster and Partners/Taylor Engineering/Engineering Enterprise
Landscape Architect: Gustafson Guthrie Nichols

By: Sahiba Gulati

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