Mission Rock's Collaborative Master Plan to Transform San Francisco’s Waterfront

The first phase of the planning vision for Mission Rock in San Francisco was initiated. The masterplan developed by the San Francisco Giants and Tishman Speyer put in place four buildings designed by internationally renowned architecture firms MVRDV, Studio Gang, Henning Larsen, and WORKac. The scheme also includes a 5-acre waterfront park by SCAPE.

Tidal Shelves – China Basin Park at Sunrise. Image Courtesy of Mission Rock/ China Basin Park

The development project, that took 12 years in the making, will transform 28 acres of land on the San Francisco’s waterfront to a mixed-use urban neighborhood. Featuring housing, office space, retail, and open space, the master plan will create a new community hub for the residents of the area and for visitors. With a PPP initiative, between San Francisco Giants, Tishman Speyer and the Port of San Francisco, the first phase of the venture will put in place two residential buildings comprising of 540 units, two commercial buildings of 550,000 square feet, a Retail and Restaurant Space and finally a 5-acre China Basin Waterfront Park. Located near Oracle Park, Mission Rock’s new neighborhood is scheduled for early 2020.

Current Overview. Image Courtesy of Mission Rock
Aerial Image. Image Courtesy of Mission Rock

As they state it, the Mission Rock team adopted a new type of philosophy and “created an anti-master-plan master plan where each building would have its own distinct look and feel but would complement each other and the surrounding environment”. The vertical additions of the project, led by four world-renowned architects, were able to produce unique outcomes, in partnership with several local firms. The individual buildings come together mainly because of the China Basin Park, the public space binding all the development. The expansion of this green space is the collaborative work of SCAPE, landscape architecture and urban design studio based in New York and New Orleans, Miller Company and Min Design.

Tidal Shelves – Daytime at China Basin Park. Image Courtesy of Mission Rock/ China Basin Park

Building A, a mixed-use edifice is created by MVRDV in association with Perry Architects, a San Francisco-based firm with experience in the development of housing in the Bay Area. Building B, an office entity is designed by WORKac, in association with Adamson Associates Architects and Y.A. Studio. Moreover, Studio Gang is working in association with Quezada Architects on Building F, creating residential units and Henning Larsen is working on Building G, an office structure in association with Adamson Associates Architects and Y.A. Studio.

Building A - Mixed-Use - MVRDV + Perry Architects

Mixed-Use Tower. Image Courtesy of MVRDV - Pixelflakes

We really enjoyed designing a unique building for this great location next to the iconic Giants’ ballpark. In cooperation with three renowned architectural firms, we managed to create a dynamic design with a great vibe; Mission Rock will mean the start of a new, mixed neighborhood. Our ambition for parcel A, The Canyon, was to make a truly daring hybrid building with retail, commercial and residential spaces. We wanted to establish a dialogue between the waterfront, the ballpark, and the robust Californian rock formations. Those formations inspired The Canyon’s architectural form: steep rocky walls with a narrow valley running between them, thus creating a mix of apartments of different sizes, roof terraces, and lush public spaces which feel welcoming to all. --Nathalie de Vries, architect and MVRDV co-founder

Building B - Office - WORKac + Adamson Associates + Y.A. Studio

Office. Image Courtesy of WORKac

We have been fortunate to partner with an extraordinary team of architects, engineers, city representatives, and a bold client, all of whom demonstrate a true commitment to ecological sensitivity as well as a deep understanding of the public social realm of this growing city. It has been an inspiring process unlike any other. —Amale Andraos, WORKac co-founder

We thought we could take advantage of all the setbacks at the different levels by carving new openings down the face of the building. That way every floor has a garden, open to the sky. This a building that reflects the city’s embrace of the outdoor life so that no matter where you are, you have access to workspace outside. --Dan Wood, WORKac co-founder

Building F - Residential - Studio Gang + Quezada Architecture

Residential. Image Courtesy of Studio Gang

It has been rewarding to lead this collaborative team of architects in the design of a new neighborhood for San Francisco that reflects our combined experience of working in cities around the world. Building F will be at the heart of Mission Rock, housing amenities for the entire neighborhood that overlook a new public plaza and vibrant streetscape. For the residences, we designed a tower inscribed with terraces, extending this indoor-outdoor living and offering views amidst elevated bio-diverse gardens. --Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang founding partner

Building G - Office - Henning Larsen + Adamson Associates + Y.A. Studio

Office. Image Courtesy of Henning Larsen

Contrary to the contemporary trend of sleek all-glass commercial towers, the aesthetic of Mission Rock reflects the historic architecture of industrial San Francisco where tactile materials bring an inviting, comfortable environment and deep façades create a dynamic play of light and shadow throughout the day. —Louis Becker, Henning Larsen partner & design principal

China Basin Park - Scape + Miller Company + Min Design

Great Lawn – Daytime. Image Courtesy of Mission Rock/ China Basin Park

China Basin has been a remarkable process on two fronts. We have the rare opportunity to draw from a legacy of over 10 years of community input to shape the design. At the same time, the site on McCovey Cove is an incredible match for SCAPE’s mission of bringing people to the water’s edge, fostering recreation and restoring intertidal ecosystems. We’re thrilled to be a part of this once-in-a-generation project. –Kate Orff, SCAPE founder and principal

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "Mission Rock's Collaborative Master Plan to Transform San Francisco’s Waterfront" 16 Oct 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/926581/mission-rocks-collaborative-master-plan-to-transform-san-franciscos-waterfront> ISSN 0719-8884

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