Foster + Partners, in collaboration with Heller Manus Architects, has received permission from the San Francisco Planning Commission for Oceanwide Center. The 2.3 million square foot (215,000 square meter) development is part of the Transbay development plan, to provide increased density to the city’s South of Market district (SOMA). The plan calls for two buildings, the 605-foot Mission Street Tower, with a hotel and residences, and an 850-foot office and residential tower along First Street. In addition, the project creates new public spaces and pedestrian connections at the base of the towers, simultaneously restoring and revitalizing two historic buildings on the site.
Being adjacent to the Transbay Transit Center, the Planning Commission noted, “[Oceanwide Center will] add employment and housing opportunities within an intense, walkable urban context.” This will reduce dependence on automobiles and simultaneously activate an already walkable area with increased pedestrian activity. The two main towers have been “lifted up” by almost five-stories, creating what Foster + Partners has described as an “urban room” for the neighborhood. The existing network of streets and alleys, friendly to pedestrians, is augmented and enhanced by over 22,000 square feet (2,000 square meters) of ground-level public space at Oceanwide Center. The outdoor areas will be programmed with art installations and include landscaping by Kathryn Gustafson of GGN.
“We are delighted that our plans for the new Oceanwide Center have received planning permission,” says Stefan Behling, Senior Executive Partner at Foster + Partners. “This development will be the new exemplar of urban living with exciting places to live and work right alongside the central transport hub. The new ‘urban room’ at ground level with pedestrian routes cutting across the site will catalyse the public realm in the neighbourhood, with shops, cafes and green spaces for residents and employees to enjoy. We look forward to the next stages of the project with great anticipation.”
The groundbreaking for Oceanwide Center is scheduled for November 2016.
Update: A previous version of this article did not establish that the design is a collaboration, "Foster + Partners, in collaboration with Heller Manus Architects, has received permission from the San Francisco Planning Commission for Oceanwide Center."