San Francisco’s Mission Bay is a thriving neighborhood and home to UCSF and major science and technology companies, as well as dozens of new multi-family housing developments. Back in the late 1990s, it was a 315-acre mixed-use district of abandoned train yards and old warehouses along the eastern edge of downtown. Developer Catellus Corporation selected STUDIOS to participate in the conceptual design of the first Super Block of office buildings. As one of the first buildings to be constructed in this up-and-coming area, a primary directive for this project was to establish a design language for the future development of Mission Bay.
STUDIOS designed the structure to appear as two distinct buildings: a six-story rectangular wing reinforces the urban street wall while the curved five-story “annex” forms a gateway into the inner-block courtyard, establishing a campus-like environment. The stepped volumes help to preserve open space views and regenerate a pedestrian scale at the street level and the interior shared courtyards of neighboring structures. The building’s glass and exposed concrete façade recalls the look of the industrial warehouses that historically populated this area.
After occupying the building since its completion, The Gap purchased the building for $342.5 million in 2019, a testament to the long-term value of good design as well as the strength of the San Francisco real estate market. The building is immediately adjacent to the new Chase Center, home to the Golden State Warriors.