March 29, 2013
181 Fremont Tower Fully Rendered, Animated, And Ready To Rise
Having acquired the Transbay parcel and approved plans to build a 52-story tower with 14 floors of condos over 400,000 square feet of office space and a spire reaching 800 feet, Silicon Valley builder Jay Paul plans to break ground on 181 Fremont as soon as possible.
While many have seen the renderings, for the first time we're publicly serving up the animation for the tower which was filmed by steelblue for the Jay Paul Company. And yes, RocketSpace will soon need to find a new home.
∙ Latest SF Skyscraper Scoop: 181 Fremont Redesigned And Rendered [SocketSite]
∙ Jay Paul ‘hits the ground running' [San Francisco Business Times]
First Published: March 29, 2013 11:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Holy crap that animation is good.
It lessens the unnerving "drunken Bank of China" feeling I get when I look at the building.
Posted by: soccermom at March 29, 2013 11:15 AM
Strange that the animation leaves out the adjacent Transbay Tower save for a brief flyover sequence towards the end.
Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at March 29, 2013 11:20 AM
Not strange at all. The animation wants you to focus on this building, not another project.
Great work by the way. Hopefully this gets started any day.
Posted by: OMN at March 29, 2013 11:22 AM
First it was 900', then 800', now it is 700' (according to the bis times article). Damn, why does everything turn out to be so underwhelming?? At least SF is catching up to 1980s Los Angeles.
[Editor's Note: As we first reported last year: "Having been waylaid by the market, the project is now making its way back through planning, but the proposed steel framed tower has been downsized to 52 stories reaching 700 feet with a decorative screen reaching to 745 feet and a spire to the 802-foot mark."]
Posted by: sf at March 29, 2013 12:15 PM
That building sure is purdy! In all honesty, I haven't been this excited about a new skyscraper in SF since 101 California was under construction.
Posted by: emanon at March 29, 2013 12:30 PM
reasonable that they left out the transbay tube tower to focus on this but I wish they would do another version with the tube in it. Great animation.
Posted by: jose at March 29, 2013 12:35 PM
802' from ground to spire makes me feel a lot better.. but from the animation it doesn't appear to be 150' taller than Millennium next door.. maybe 50' taller, that's what concerned me.
Posted by: sf at March 29, 2013 12:41 PM
Nice. Very excited about this one going up. The skyline will benefit from more peaks above the 500-600' plateau it has today.
Posted by: Turin at March 29, 2013 12:44 PM
Looks better than the Transbay Tower.
Posted by: bobthebuilder at March 29, 2013 12:56 PM
It doesn't look much taller than Millennium because it's not much taller than Millennium, at least not to the roof. But I've been living in this town long enough to really appreciate the scope of these new buildings!
Posted by: t/a at March 29, 2013 1:22 PM
So 700' is what? underwhelming? Really?
Ok, I guess I'll go sulk a whole lot inside my 37' high little rat-den of a house in Noe Valley.
I just may add a small spire to my roof peak now.
Posted by: futurist at March 29, 2013 1:25 PM
Best looking building in SF in recent memory, IMO.
Posted by: Mike at March 29, 2013 2:23 PM
The renderings almost never show the strangest aspect of this building, which is that the base has 6 sides, with a small protrusion that is slowly integrated as it rises. It's visible in the top view at 1:48. It adds yet another weird angle to the jumble of weird angles. It still appears very unresolved to me.
Posted by: James at March 29, 2013 3:18 PM
Yes, very nice animation and yet another example of Ron Fricke's influence on the visual arts. I wonder how many hours of work were put in to each minute.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at March 29, 2013 4:26 PM
This is really nice.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at March 30, 2013 12:44 AM
I retract all the horrible things I've said about Heller-Manus over the years (until I see their next project).
Posted by: BTinSF at March 30, 2013 12:52 AM
I will reserve praise until I see the value-engineered reality. Many building start with the best of intentions.
As for the computer animation, I think that I recognized a friend of mine going into the building. Uncanny!
Posted by: jlasf at March 30, 2013 2:17 AM
Very good to see condos on top of office space! Chicago has so much more of this - the Hancock comes to mind, and have never understood why there has not been more of this in SF. Could this be the first tower of its kind since 333 Bush St.?
Posted by: GoodByeBadTimes at March 30, 2013 11:23 AM
This project will almost certainly mark the top and the bottom of the commercial office real estate bubble now underway in San Francisco. Someone save this post and pull it out in 6 years or so. Why so negative? More on that below. But for now lets think about the euphoria around town….
Surely the happiest person is Jeffery Heller. Finally, finally he gets to see a really big one he designed built in San Francisco, and not “massaged” first by Bernard Fort Brescia. The timing couldn’t be better as the monstrosity his firm designed for Citizens housing, now Crescent heights at Market and 11th is taking form. Jeff like a lot of other architects can be heard saying “Thank God I don’t have to go (as much to China anymore.” Jeff couldn’t care less the economic success of this project.
The next happiest person is Gabriel Metcalf of SPUR, who surely believes this “proves” he was right about everyone wanting to be downtown near the transit that reflects San Francisco Values. Nothing is build or let yet, but Gabe couldn’t care less about the economic success of this project. High speed what?
The planners are pretty happy because this “proves” their vision for the transit district way right all along, and you just cant listen to the nay-sayers, and have to think long term. They'll sort of ignore the fact this is a third generation knock-off of Norman Foster, and they still havent gotten a high rise from a really elite architect. No, not Pelli.
The Transbay authority better be happy because maybe, just maybe with all the air rights fees these parcel will spin off to them – anyone actually seen those over- promised numbers lately – the TBay terminal will get build on budget and a political disaster was averted. Except there’s never going to be high-speed rail here, and that was the whole political and policy pretext of the Transbay Plan. Gabe, Planners, Maria what happened to that? Remember?
David Choo and Morgan Stanley are really, really unhappy. Because whoever of them ends up with the mess at First and Mission they will be really, way, far at the end of the line, miss the next 2 market cycles by this point, and probably also get screwed on the Prop M beauty contest allocation. And they were used as the staking horse, with Renzo Piano who was here for one minute, as the other pretext of the entire Transbay plan. Before them and “Renzo” none of this 1000 foot- stuff was taken too seriously. Renzo who?
Oh, I forget Stein Kingsley Stein and their investors. They ought to be really, happy to. Because until recently, this project was considered sort of a joke among the major downtown developers. The floor plates are ridiculously small and inefficient, the buiding will be the most expensive per sq ft and the last to lease, and the mixed use is open to doubt. There were no takers whatsoever for this land flip until the real overheating set in. SKS was smart enough to know, rolled the dice, and pulled a rabbit out of the hat.
It’s hard to say too much about Jay Paul. They made so much money in Silicon valley and the peninsula building cheap pancake buildings that everyone’s giving them a pass for now. But you can help wondering if they’re doing a reverse Jon Corzine here. But everyone will give them a pass for now because they’re just too rich.
Posted by: Louis at March 30, 2013 5:59 PM
It would be great if it was just a little bit taller so it could distract us from the design failure that is the Transbay Tower (ironically not featured in the animation), but overall I like it! Once completed it should compliment the skyline south-of-market quite nicely.
Posted by: JadeinSF at March 31, 2013 9:35 PM
Animation is really impressive. As for the building itself, looks like a Swarovski knockoff of the Hong Kong Bank of China building.
Posted by: roswell53 at April 1, 2013 1:04 PM
This isn't the tallest tower being designed. The tallest tower is across the street and designed by Cesar Pelli http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/cesar-pelli-transbay-transit-tower-soar-61-stories-san-francisco-article-1.1308926
As someone stated before. They wont show the other new towers of the Transbay project in this animation because that isn't the focus AND I'm sure there would be some copy write laws against it. Next time do a little research before you slam someone.
Posted by: wearethestones at June 10, 2013 5:03 PM