One Rincon Hill
Rising from the shadows of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge, the 1.25M square foot One Rincon Hill development includes two structurally unique towers offering 695 condominiums and 14 townhouses. Designed as a catalyst for urban renewal, One Rincon Hill establishes a new benchmark for urban, architectural and structural design of tall buildings. The development—the most significant addition to San Francisco’s skyline in over 30 years—includes one of the tallest all-residential towers west of the Mississippi River. The building’s soaring height was made possible by pioneering structural solutions for building in areas of high seismic activity.
Originally proposed as twin 35-story buildings, city planners desired a taller solution for the under-utilized, 1.3-acre, el-shaped site. To mark the last undeveloped hill in the city, and to clearly punctuate San Francisco’s skyline profile, the city’s urban planning department increased the towers’ heights during entitlements to 55 stories encompassing 390 units for the South Tower (Phase I) and 45 stories comprising 319 units for the North Tower (Phase II). Varying tower heights positioned in diagonally opposite quadrants preserve views and create compositional interest, with the South Tower emphasizing the crest of the 100-foot hill. Height, slenderness, the desire for floor to ceiling glass to maximize views, and technology designed to respond to the Bay Area’s seismic activity inspired structural innovations. These include eliminating perimeter beams with a shear core and outrigger columns, a liquid-tuned mass damper with flow control weirs to control building acceleration, and operable sashes located at the inboard surface of the curtain wall—achieving operable windows that allow natural ventilation while maintaining expansive views.
SCB and developer Urban West conceived the development as a metaphorical bookend to the burgeoning South of Market District. One Rincon Hill has transformed a formerly derelict industrial district in San Francisco’s downtown core into a vibrant residential community, bringing urban density and vitality to this once out-of-the-way site and striking a crest to the rolling wave of San Francisco’s skyline.