855 Brannan

San Francisco, CA

An intricately crafted collection of courtyards, gardens, and passages that interweave public and private spaces for a large mixed-use housing project.

This mixed-use development occupies three quarters of a city block bringing new public open space and streetscape improvements in the SOMA/Design District neighborhood of San Francisco. The project consists of three interconnected six story buildings providing 449 residential units including 15 flexible use lofts and 29,500 sf of retail storefront. The buildings are wrapped around a set of public and private open spaces with living streets, public plazas, and a garden that make the 4.3 acre housing community welcoming and accessible to residents and the public.

At the core of the project is a large inviting public courtyard containing a grove of coast redwoods, ferns and drought-tolerant plants that provides a serene forested sanctuary within the urban fabric. Adjoining this space is a Town Hall deck that offers residents with outdoor and indoor gathering spaces. Above, a rooftop deck with exceptional views of the city creates a dining and lounging area for residents. Midblock landscaped passageways allow residents and pedestrians to flow through the complex.

The activated street front on Brannan offers widened sidewalks lined with a row of mature palm trees, ample benches, bike racks, and new retail storefronts. A Market Mews can host farmers markets throughout the year adjacent to flexible commercial units and a kitchen incubator for low-income food entrepreneurs bringing local goods, produce, and eateries to the neighborhood. A Garden Mews provides terraced rain gardens and porches for family units and will be shared with the adjacent BMR development. Stormwater control strategies were carefully integrated into flexible urban uses as well as being expressed as rich gardens.