Market Commons

San Francisco, CA

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Image Credit: Lisa Daye

A Social Centerpiece for San Francisco’s Mid-Market

Spanning along Market Street between 9th and 10th Streets, Market Commons is situated at the junction of many of San Francisco’s cultural neighborhoods. It occupies the northern edge of SOMA’s commercial district and sits across San Francisco’s City Hall and Civic Center. Market Commons provides a new type of privately owned public space in the middle of a transforming neighborhood to serve city residents, building tenants and tourists alike. The site consists of two office and retail buildings and public/private open space. The 24,000 square foot pedestrian alley is designed as an unfolding sequence of experiences. Paths, plazas, and walkways are defined in concrete paving and wood decks, while interior program spills through large doors on to an elevated building apron. Areas of 100% recycled artificial turf provide additional flexible use areas that serve the adjacent gym events. The open, flexible gathering central plaza and lawns welcome intimate lunch meetings as well as large gatherings and events for tenants, market patrons and the public.

The development effort involved the historic renovation and adaptive re-use of the larger historic building, a complete renovation and recladding of the smaller building, and transformation of the existing alley between the two buildings into a pedestrian plaza - the Commons. Overhead installation of special tube lights zigzags throughout the corridor with a central fire pit beckoning passersby to the refined urban space. Five large bio-retention stormwater planters and delicate vine planting introduce grasses, bamboo, and larger ecological infrastructure practices to the public space. Image Credits: Bruce Damonte and Lisa Daye
Image Credit: Lisa Daye

The redeveloped alleyway has served as the catalyst for the resurgence of San Francisco’s Mid-Market area. Through many years of neglect, the Mid-Market neighborhood has suffered from blight and decay – the Commons creates a centerpiece – a social hub, knitting the block together.