May 29, 2009
1844 Market Watch: Movement On 113 "Fabulous" Units And Retail
BayRock Residential secured approvals for 113 "fabulous" rental (but condo mapped) units, 90 underground parking spaces, and 5,000 square feet of retail to be built at 1840-1844 Market in 2006, but sold the project in 2007.
And while the site has long been cleared, it's also been dormant for quite some time. Yesterday, however, a tipster noticed activity and couldn't help but wonder, "Is this real?"
It appears so, but unfortunately we don't have any additional details. Readers?
First Published: May 29, 2009 12:30 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
I like this project a lot better than the project with a Whole Foods up the street. The roofline really helps break the mass.
Posted by: flaneur at May 29, 2009 12:56 PM
Looks like a sterile medical office building in a warm climate. The coral and peach colors and dark glass contribute to that impression.
Posted by: invented at May 29, 2009 1:26 PM
agree with 'invented'.
this is not an imaginative design. it uses the same cliche tricks that are plaguing this city's infill development.
the Saitowitz and Arquitectonica buildings planned for upper market are much superior designs.
Posted by: gabriel at May 29, 2009 1:51 PM
I am surprised they do not show palm trees in the image. Have we switched from Miami landscape choices to Miami Architecture choices?
Posted by: just as curious at May 29, 2009 2:13 PM
WTF? That design makes me want to cry. Or punch someone in Planning. This is the kind of craptastic design they should be protecting us from!
Posted by: SFSal at May 29, 2009 2:46 PM
This is a nice, fresh, urban modern design perfect for this location. It has a varied roof line, balconies, nice articulation of the facade. and thank god, its NOT being designed by either Saitowitz or Arquitectonica.
The work by Saitowitz is generally sterile, rigidly boxy and not "friendly".
Arquitectonica simply does, for the most part, goofy uber post-modern pieces of junk, suited for Miami or some Mexican resort.
Posted by: noearch at May 29, 2009 3:08 PM
The Infinity building is a goofy uber post-modern piece of junk? I beg to differ. One of the better looking new developments downtown. And Arquitectonica had to retool an existing Heller-Manus design on that one.
Posted by: sfnerd at May 29, 2009 3:55 PM
I'm also crying. What a mess! What is the theme to that style? All of the decks really look out of place on Market.
Posted by: marketwatch at May 29, 2009 4:15 PM
Decks (and encouraging the use of outdoor space in general) is part of both the Market/Octavia master plan and the Upper Market Street charrette plan. In a city with mild climate like SF, sealed up building with just glass and walls is inappropriate. Check out the development plans for this corridor before offering up diatribes against balconies.
I agree with critics of this design, however. It's all a bunch of broken up masses. Instead of architecture, we just have 'buildings' that try to pretend they aren't big or wide with froofy designerisms like "broken massing". Give us well designed architecture that admits that a building is a unitary element. It can be elegant (see: Infinity, for example). The suburban mall "broken massing" approach is foolish. On a streetscape such as Market St, there are hundreds of individual buildings. You don't need designs which "break down" inside of themselves. The variety of the streetscape is already enough -- IF we have well designed individual buildings.
This is just lame, low-brow stuff here on 1840 Market. The 2001 Market design (aka Whole Foods) is far superior in every way.
Still, let's not look any gift horse in the mouth here. ANY building on that spot is better than the hole we have now.
Posted by: raxel at May 29, 2009 4:52 PM
Is the "keeping permit alive" option a possible reason? It seems a little premature.
I'm not crazy about the design either, but I do approve of the balconies. They are south facing, and could therefore be well used. Also looks like there is a roof deck...if so that would be great.
Otherwise, I agree that Architectonica has done/proposed good work so far in SF, and that Saitowitz may be the thinking man's architect, but imho his stuff is easier to like intellectually than to actually live in.
Posted by: curmudgeon at May 29, 2009 5:15 PM
i agree that some of what Arquitectonica designs is 'goofy, post-modern fluff'.. the design they've proposed for market/buchanan has got to be the best thing they've proposed to this city -- and it actually works as a good contemporary building, in my opinion.
the Saitowitz design for market/12th is probably the best thing he's offered to the city to date, also. it's fresh, clever and accessible.
this design reminds of the building up market a bit further across from FLAX. it looks like a retirement complex on the busiest street in the city. the blase attempt at use of colour and the rooftop deck are just poorly designed suburban crapola. the planning department should be fired!
Posted by: gabriel at May 29, 2009 6:36 PM
Okay. Its time to call a spade a shovel.
These building designs, thrust upon an uneducated public, and an apparently mentally challenged building department, are riotously hideous and ugly.
Jonathan Robinson, my hero, this morning, bluntly told me he is ready to kill all architects. I can see why. A millennium of good design ideas tossed into the trash for function over form.
I can’t say I disagree. Yet another ugly building. (YAUG) What an embarrassing legacy our generation leaves behind. In thirty years people will walk by and wonder why anyone would have spent money, time and industry to erect such ugliness. A momument to greed or US capitalisms’ last greedy gasp? It’s not necessary. It is sprouting up all around us, like some sort of fungus, Like a Lembi Wall Street check book. We will all pay for it in the end. If not us, our children. Thank God abortion is legal. Tearing down these ugly buildings may prove more difficult. Ross for Less architecture. These plans should be aborted at the planning department stage. I plan to be dead in thirty years. Hope your clever children are great at real estate makeovers with no bones. What an embarrassing legacy our generation leaves behind.
Posted by: kathleen at May 29, 2009 6:36 PM
I like it. Build it.
Posted by: armando at May 29, 2009 7:02 PM
I think Raxel's comments are poignant. This building has that broken massing suburban look. Market Street is a wide street where a large wide building fits contextually. No need to chop it up in this style. The decks are not the problem it's the overall pattern.
Kathleen..........tell us how you really feel!!
Posted by: marketwatch at May 29, 2009 7:39 PM
So, do SF planning and development rules explicitly forbid the use of curves, or perhaps implicitly? Why does every new building have to look like it was modeled with lego bricks? Hell, even some lego bricks are arched or circular.
Posted by: Delancey at May 29, 2009 10:36 PM
Kathleen - I thought the 70's boxes littering the Richmond and Sunset were the "embarrassing legacy" left behind when it came to San Francisco residential architecture.
I agree that a lot of what's being done today is poor but I do think it's orders of magnitude better than the Richmond specials.
Posted by: Eric in SF at May 30, 2009 8:38 AM
Socketsite: "maped?" Really? "maped?"
Back to first grade English class for you.
[Editor’s Note: Ah, snap! (And it's SocketSite.)]
Posted by: Dave at May 30, 2009 11:48 AM
kathleen is a realtor...dont take her comments seriously at all. I sure dont.
Posted by: noearch at June 2, 2009 12:18 PM
Posted by: Kevin at July 1, 2009 1:57 PM
Do you think this development can be re-designed? Building too tall? Does anyone care that this building does not comply with the Octavia Blvd. Master Plan?
Posted by: carlene C. Laughlin at January 27, 2010 12:40 AM