Posts tagged with "Oceanwide Center":

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Foster + Partners breaks ground on San Francisco’s second-tallest tower

Foster + Partners, and Heller Manus developers Oceanwide Holdings broke ground last week on the Oceanwide Center in San Francisco, a mixed-use project that, when completed, would become the city’s second-tallest tower. The project, a 2.4-million square foot complex consisting of condominiums, office space, and a hotel, occupies a 1.4-acre site and has been designed to contain public spaces in a pair of adaptively-reused historic structures along the ground floor. The complex will be composed of two towers: a primary 850-foot, 75-story tall structure containing 1,010,000-square-feet of office space and 111 condominium units and a 605-foot, 54-story tall tower containing a 171-room Waldorf Astoria hotel and 154-condominium units. The taller tower is demarcated by a large-scale, diagonally gridded truss system that climbs the height of the tower, creating a crenelated cap at the apex, while the shorter tower features a gridded facade filled with rectangular, punched openings. The gridded structure of the larger tower meets the floor to create a giant, open-air, landscaped plaza. The tower complex joins a series of other projects, including the Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects—designed Salesforce tower, the Heller Manus Architects—designed 181 Fremont, and the Handel Architects—designed Millennium Tower, are transforming the Transbay area of San Francisco. The new tower district is rising around the Transbay Terminal, a new multi-modal transit hub also designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. The first phase of the terminal is due to be completed in late 2017. Controversy erupted this year when the nearby Millennium Tower began to sink, a result of the fact that the tower is built on a concrete slab supported by 60- to 90-foot deep friction piles and not, as would be more structurally-appropriate for the area’s soil conditions, end-bearing pylons. As a result, the tower’s foundation does not actually reach the bedrock below the city and the tower has not only sunk 16-inches into the ground, but has also tilted between two- and six-inches toward the northwest. To avert a similar problem, Oceanwide Center is designed to be supported by foundation piles that drive down up to 400-feet below ground and connect directly with bedrock.   Oceanwide Center is due to finish construction in 2021.
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San Francisco Planning Commission approves Foster + Partners’ Oceanwide Center

Last week, the San Francisco Planning Commission approved the Foster + Partners-designed Oceanwide Center slated for the Transbay district in South of Market (SOMA). The project will bring over 2.3 million square feet of mixed-use space to the area. The design features two towers of varying heights with large floor plates. The taller tower on First Street tops out at 850 feet and will include residences and offices. The 605-foot shorter tower on Mission Street will host residences with a hotel. Renderings show landscaped street-level public spaces—22,000 square feet total—that connect the two towers. The development also includes restoring two historic buildings on the site. “At ground level, the buildings are open, accessible and transparent–and have been ‘lifted up’ by almost five stories to provide a new ‘urban room’ for the region,” describes Foster + Partners in a press release. “This space is crisscrossed by pedestrian routes that are an extension of the historic streets and alleyways in the area, knitting the new scheme with the urban grain of the city”. The San Francisco Planning Department’s Transit Center District Plan (approved in 2012) and the Transbay Redevelopment Plan are upzoning the Transbay neighborhood through higher-density development and higher height limits for residences, offices, hotels, retail, and more. City officials see the project supporting walkability and increasing public transit usage in the Transbay area. The Planning Commission recommendation for the Oceanwide Center states, “the Project will generate substantial revenues that will contribute to the development of transportation infrastructure, including the Transit Center and the Downtown Rail Extension, and other improvements envisioned by the Transit Center Plan.” Foster + Partners received the commission in 2014 from the original developers TMG Partners and Northwood Investors. In early 2015, the Chinese financial services company, Oceanwide Holdings Group, bought the site for $300 million. San Francisco-based firm Heller Mannus Architects is collaborating on the project, while Seattle firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichols is working on the landscapes. Groundbreaking is expected November 2016.