The South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood in San Francisco throughout history has seen many changes in its residents and built environment, transforming from a warehouse district to a key residential district at the forefront of the city’s population boom. The project called for the design of two dynamic, sophisticated LEED Gold Certified residential buildings in the heart of SoMa. Targeted to a market of young, affluent tech workers, both in San Francisco and nearby Silicon Valley, the buildings needed to have distinct urban amenities and modernist design that supports a theme of sustainable living in a dense city environment.
The project, which collectively is known as Mosso Apartments, is designed as two buildings one being 900 Folsom and the second 400 Clementina, separated by Clementina alley. 900 Folsom is the larger of the two buildings with 281 units, including two-level townhouses and work/live loft spaces.
Designed in close collaboration with city officials, the building has the classic tripartite San Francisco facade with a base, middle and top, expressed in an early 20th century manner and rendered in materials and colors that allude to the Bauhaus and the Dutch DeStijl movements. Precisely fabricated and brightly colored aluminum rain screen panels are frame large picture windows. These contemporary bay windows lend a variety and syncopation to the facades. At the corner of Fifth St. and Folsom St., cantilevered glass volumes, are staggered and cantilevered angled balconies, add a touch of urban drama. Diverse retail venues along both streets activate the building day and night and rooftop green terraces are occupiable for tenant events or just relaxation.
400 Clementina also has a modernist soul but rendered with slightly warmer materials and colors. The 182-unit building has large corner units that are expressed with angled balconies. Protruding window modules and a large cornice relate it to 900 Folsom while giving it its own distinct architectural sensibility.
A mid-block pocket park was also part of our design, for the use of residents of both buildings and the public alike. Other sustainable features include green roofs and courtyards with native plants, bicycle storage with changing rooms, electric car charging stations, car sharing spaces, on-site renewable energy like photovoltaic cells and wind turbines and high-performance rainscreen facades.
Mosso Apartments has not only thrived as a mixed-use development, but also contributed to the growth of a neighborhood in one of the world’s most demanding real estate markets, to serve a young sophisticated clientele.