Towering High in San Francisco
Blocks away from the Bay Bridge, Embarcadero and Rincon Park, the 400-foot-tall tower, MIRA, an urban residential development by Studio Gang creates a welcoming new community in the heart of San Francisco.
The design responds to the need for dense housing in San Francisco and offers a new model of sustainability while reinterpreting the city’s architectural traditions. MIRA evolves the classic bay window, a familiar feature of San Francisco’s early houses, reimagining it in a high-rise context. Twisting incrementally over the height of the tower, the bays offer ample views, natural light throughout the day, fresh air and inform the building’s distinctive form and texture—the result gives special attention to the building’s energy performance and how it is experienced. Extending the inhabitable spaces within and offering platforms from which to view the city at all angles, the bays make every residence a corner unit.
A sophisticated curtain wall facade system allows the bays to be attached to a repeatable structural slab from inside the building, reducing the need for a tower crane on site and limiting energy consumption and neighborhood impact during construction. The bays allow for a high-performance facade that is 55% opaque without inhibiting nearly 180-degree-views in every unit. The facade, along with an innovative VRF cooling system allows the building to exceed ambitious California Title 24 energy standards. This, along with a state-of-the-art graywater harvesting system, green roofs, and high-efficiency fixtures, puts the project on target for LEED Gold certification. The tower meets the ground at a human scale and offers retail space fronting Folsom and Main Streets, contributing new pedestrian amenities to a highly walkable area of the city with excellent transportation connections. MIRA recently topped out and the first residents are expected to move in by the end of 2019.
By Aarti Mohan