This modern, mixed-use community interweaves high-density homes, public and private courtyards, and pedestrian passageways to maximize housing, repair the urban fabric, and activate the edges of an underutilized city block. A 4.3-acre community in San Francisco’s tech-heavy SOMA/Design District, 855 Brannan features three interconnected six-story buildings providing 449 new apartments. Dynamic facades clad with weathering and galvanized steel differentiate the volumes and reference the industrial history of the area.
The buildings engage the street with stoops, functional landscaping, resident and community uses, and neighborhood retail. Along the prominent facades at Brannan and 8th Streets, the transformed street front adds widened sidewalks, mature palms, benches, and bike racks. To the rear, a private street accesses embedded parking and provides space for food trucks or civic events.
Two public midblock passages draw residents and pedestrians through the large community, creating connections and establishing a walkable scale: A Market Mews lined with live-work lofts can host farmers markets or other activities; a Garden Mews with rain gardens, porches, and a dog run will be shared with the forthcoming adjacent affordable housing.
At the core, an inviting public courtyard crowned by a grove of coast redwoods provides a serene sanctuary for the bustling area. A suite of amenity spaces connects to this grove via a “town hall” deck that offers a seamless connection between indoor and outdoor living. Lobbies and common spaces are warmed by Douglas Fir that was salvaged and restored from the site’s original structure, a 1909 train depot.
Material Used :
1. Cor-ten Metal Siding (fabricated on site)
2. Galvanized Sheet Metal Siding (fabricated on site)
3. Hardie Panel and Trim (RBS)
4. Cement Plaster
5. FSC Certified Machiche Wood Siding (Mataverde)
6. Board Formed Textured Concrete
7. Kawneer 1600 Storefront
8. Peerless G141 Aluminum Windows and Terrace Doors