Parkmerced Block 201208 Junipero Serra Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94132
Design Achievement – Parkmerced is a 150-acre neighborhood on the southwestern end of San Francisco. Last developed in the decade following World War II, the new development plan calls for a community rooted in forward-thinking urban ecology. Block 20 project sits at the busy intersection of Junipero Serra Boulevard and 19th Avenue on the existing Parkmerced campus, a location that affords sightlines out to Lake Merced and back to the rolling hills of San Francisco. DLR Group|KwanHenmi’s design capitalizes on both the fast-paced, active edge along Junipero Serra and the more intimate setting on the opposite side of the site, where deep-set balconies soften the boundary between the residents of the building and an idyllic park. The serrated façade announces its presence as traffic decelerates upon its arrival to the City from Interstate 280. The homes within are oriented to provide exciting views and privacy. The smooth glass acts as a foil against the prickly high-rise, which itself seeks to make a connection to the urban environment further afield while continuing the playful sophistication that defines the character of Block 20. The design, in keeping with the plans for Parkmerced’s development, is aspirational; the bright palette and gleaming surfaces drawing viewers to it.
Scope Summary - The new building at Block 20 is a bridge between the existing neighborhood and the City. It can be accessed from Junipero Serra, but the primary point of entry is situated on the opposite, quieter side. The main entry is threaded through the existing residential towers, with the new building revealing itself gradually as one ambles into the courtyard. Townhome entries along both sides of the building activate the pedestrian experience and provide a direct connection with the community. The building itself consists of 299 residential units spread across a 17-story tower—rising 145 feet above grade—and an 8-story midrise. The 475,000-SF project has a diverse unit mix, two residential lobbies, co-working space, fitness room, game room, and other amenities. Safety features include sprinklers with a secondary on-site water supply, a smoke control system, and a fire alarm system with public address audio. Photovoltaic cells on the roof of the tower and other green technologies complement the Parkmerced Project vision of an eco-friendly community. Five levels of parking and storage can be found below grade and are invisible to the urban traveler. The resultant design finds harmony within its 20th-century context while projecting an unmistakably contemporary character at human scale. DLR Group|KwanHenmi is providing architectural services from concept through completion.