Transbay District Intervention

“Lobby As Living Room” and ‘Softscraper’ Softscape Intervention Concept at 123 Mission
Transbay District _ San Francisco, California

Integration and repositioning of speculative office building (123 Mission) into the “Lobby As Living Room” concept with extensive softscape infrastructural improvement that develops the mid-block cavity into a well lit neighborhood venue positioned toward phenomenal cultural events, with supporting pop-up store-frontage, lounge bar, and a neighborhood supporting wireless ecology.

Urban Strategy = Softscraper?

The Transbay District is experiencing rapid growth. The area is being composed almost entirely with residential towers, and the new inhabitants of these towers are now faced with the daunting task, as is the case in almost all of SOMA, with finishing the development of the area into an urbanism that mitigates the symphony of uses/ abuses inherent to a vital and functioning neighborhood in San Francisco. We propose a softscape intervention at the scale of the tower… the Softscraper.

Our strategy proposes the activation of the perimeter grounds to be used as infrastructure for both the development of the domestic territory for the new inhabitants, and for the cultivation of the neighborhood.

This plan shifts the permutation away from the existing grid, and it’s accompanying duration of the ‘Aisle and Corridor’ occupant, into a slower moving open plan focused on achieving a sustained dwelling.

To construct an area ostensibly suited for domestic occupation, two layers of event programming overlay on top of the office building and supporting mall to create a location attractive to use as a second destination after the office.

The first layer of programming is a surfaced and planted, well-lit seating area, with full-service bar, heat lamps, lounge furniture, electrical interfaces, and live music venue.

The second layer of programming is a collection of local events infrastructure suitable for use as informal gathering areas for social groups. An example of this usage would be a place to host a finish line for Critical Mass, a monthly event that typically starts at Justin Herman Plaza 5 minutes away.

A bank of existing, underused storefront retail windows are converted into 5′ deep pockets of retail space available for short term pop-up rental uses. Examples of these uses are at the scale of flower carts, fashion display, and lemonade stands.

The softscape performs as a surrogate for many activities that are seen as too impractical to be included in the residential tower, such as learning to ride a bike, or playing fetch, many of which contribute to our sense of contentment.

Transbay District Intervention
Interior Architecture _ San Francisco, CA

Colin Billings, Dominique Price

Architecture AS _ IS Team
Ashley Hickman, Maeliosa Barstow

123 Mission completed with Gensler, SF

Transbay Intervention