New York


San Francisco, CA

Trumark Urban
Cesar Rubio Photography

Straddling the border of Potrero Hill and the Mission District in San Francisco, Rowan is a 70-unit residential building with ground floor retail. The goal of the project was to strike a chord of continuity with the industrial past of Potrero and the Mission and celebrate its urban, transit-oriented future.

In the middle of the 19th century, Potrero was originally connected to San Francisco by the Long Bridge. Then, with the filling of Mission Bay, the once "far-south" became a central hub for many thriving industrial facilities. The neighborhood has been shaped for industry and access to the deep waters of the Bay, from the first iron production of Pacific Rolling Mills, to the ship and submarine building efforts through two World Wars. The Potrero neighborhood has a sense of place defined by the mixture of sunny hillside residential blocks and industrial remnants on broad avenues. At the northern end of Potrero, along the 16th Street corridor, the historic industrial district has made a sensitive transition into Showplace Square. The Hamm's Brewery has transformed into a best-in-class creative office building. And although unique landmarks such as the Seal's Stadium have been razed, the density and use of the neighborhood still reflects their once large-scale presence.

Rowan has been designed with an external, cast-in-place concrete structure in a diagonal grid. Building such a structure required a level of craftsmanship that is in keeping with the neighborhood's historic "art" of industrial construction. The largely column-free interior allows clear internal layouts. Residents and families in every unit enjoy abundant access to light and air on Juliet balconies which also offer opportunities for planting. The rooftop facing adjacent Franklin Park features a common planted terrace. The resulting building exterior is layered with human activity, material texture, and greenery.