RMW Architecture & Interiors, Page & Turnbull, and BCV Architects

San Francisco


With a prime location near San Francisco's Civic Center and downtown shopping corridor, one of the city's few subway stops, and wide brick sidewalks fit for throngs of pedestrians, Mid-Market has had all the makings of a sought-after neighborhood. Though it was a thriving theater district in the early 20th century, this mile-long stretch of Market Street never recovered from a spiral of disinvestment and blight that began in the postwar years, even as the tech booms of the late 1990s and beyond sent real-estate values soaring nearly everywhere else. With a storefront vacancy rate around 30 percent in 2011, the neighborhood was caught in a catch-22 that plagues both redevelopment efforts and dull parties: no people means no action, and no action means no people.

Then, one day in June 2012, 800 people showed up. Twitter, having outgrown its old quarters in the South of Market district, had leased three floors in a former wholesale furniture mart at 1355 Market, an L-shaped block-long Art Deco complex from 1937 with a 1975 addition in the rear. The 863,000-square-foot, 11-story Deco building, with a monumental terra-cotta facade featuring Mayan motifs, spans an entire block, from Ninth to Tenth streets. Attracted by the concrete structure's enormous footprint and a payroll-tax holiday offered by the city, Twitter enlisted Lundberg Design and Interior Architects to design its new headquarters space. At the same time, the building—now christened Market Square—and its original lobby were renovated by RMW Architecture & Interiors, with Page & Turnbull serving as the historic-preservation architects.

Fast-forward a year and a half, and the majority of Market Square's remaining office suites are rented, Twitter has added 700 more employees and captured four more floors, and an upscale eatery and marketplace are scheduled to move into the ground level later this year. In April, RMW will finish reskinning the precast-concrete-clad 1975 addition in glass; much of that building (now called 1 Tenth) is reserved for another Twitter expansion. And CMG Landscape Architecture will finish the conversion of a former alley separating the two buildings into a pocket park, called the Commons, with a zigzagging canopy of LED tube lights and a fire pit.

Meanwhile, the sky above Market Street is full of cranes. More tech companies have moved to the area, and 5,000 apartments in new towers are either approved or under construction (26 percent of them below market rate), according to the city's Office for Economic and Workforce Development. “A lot of these units were [planned] and on the boards, but no one could pull the trigger,” says RMW principal Terry Kwik. “Twitter's lease got done, and everything got dusted off.” After decades, can the urban desolation of the neighborhood be reversed by a tech company hatched in 2006?

For now, Market Square is an office building. Until the retail tenants move in, the project's effect on street life remains unknown. But if all goes well, Market Square will become a destination in its own right. The developer, Shorenstein Properties, hired Baldauf Catton von Eckartsberg Architects (BCV)—the firm that designed the retail areas of the Ferry Building, San Francisco's beloved local-food emporium—to transform, with RMW, the fortresslike furniture mart's ground floor into a soaring, wood-paneled market hall.

When RMW and BCV began work in 2011, many of the building's concrete columns had been masked by ad-hoc showroom partitions and, after a misguided 1980s renovation, encased in mirrors. Underneath all that, “It was this amazing, Lou Kahn–like structural system,” says BCV prinicpal Hans Baldauf, referring to the dramatic column grid and use of concrete as a defining material. The architects stripped the interior, sandblasted the columns, and carved out a new double-height lobby at Market and Ninth to mimic the scale of the Art Deco lobby at midblock. They paneled everything but the original marble-walled lobby in Douglas fir reclaimed from a rooftop addition taken down by Shorenstein. But this isn't your typical rough-refined industrial-chic revamp. All that warm wood brings out the texture of the board-formed concrete structure, and slim up- and downlights on the columns emphasize the height of the retail corridors, lending them classical proportions.

Twitter's regrettable interiors—an avian-themed maze of bright blue and green that several square miles of feather-patterned carpet tile do nothing to clarify—are, thankfully, tucked away on the upper floors, hidden from most people's view. The company's real contribution to Mid-Market lies in its choice to integrate itself into the neighborhood with a building open to the public. Unlike Silicon Valley's tech industry, which grew up in and then swallowed the suburbs, Twitter is embracing a more urban approach. “Twitter as a culture is very public,” says Kelly Flannery, the company's global head of facilities and security. “We want to be part of the people.” Of course, with far greater numbers of employees, Apple and Facebook would have a hard time squeezing themselves into a city block. But the inward-focused new campuses they're building—Apple's spaceship by Norman Foster in Cupertino, Facebook's green-roofed island on stilts in Menlo Park, by Frank Gehry—suggest that they prefer a suburban relationship to the landscape.

The architects envision Market Square in its finished form as a mixed-use tech campus, anchored by an all-day restaurant called Bon Marché and an Eataly-like assemblage of food stations dubbed the Market. Crucially, pedestrians will be able to enter through the retail storefronts without going through reception and security. To make the building more inviting, the design team negotiated with the city's historic- preservation commission to bring the windows along Market Street closer to the sidewalk. And on the rear wall facing the pocket park, they installed glass airplane hangar doors, which double as canopies that give the back of the structure an airy, porchlike feel. “We wanted the transparency to suck you through the building,” says Baldauf.

With restaurants, a bank, and a gym on the way, and residential towers rising all around, Market Square and 1 Tenth are poised to help rekindle the street life that disappeared sometime during the Eisenhower Administration. Performing arts are returning to Market Street too: two blocks north, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is renovating the old Strand Theater for the American Conservatory Theater, to open next January. In its new incarnation, Mid-Market has the potential to blend the best of the city's past and present, with a mix of technology, housing, food, and culture fit for the 21st century.


Shorenstein Properties LLC

Shorenstein / SRI Nine Market Square LLC

Lead / Core & Shell Architect:
RMW Architecture & Interiors, Page & Turnbull, and BCV Architects
160 Pine Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 781-9800 (phone)
(415) 788-5216 (fax)

Retail Architect:
BCV Architects
1527 Stockton Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 398-6538 (phone)
(415) 398-6521 (fax)

Preservation Architect:
Page & Turnbull

Twitter Headquarters Architects:
Lundberg Design and Interior Architects

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Lead / Core & Shell Architect (RMW):
Principal in Charge: Terry Kwik, LEED AP ID+C
Director of Design: Steve Worthington, AIA, LEED AP
Project Architect/Manager: Joseph Pirrone, AIA
Design Team: Sun Lee, Tom Tessier, NCIDQ, Darren Barboza, LEED AP BD +C (RA),
Ron Aguila, NCIDQ
Specifier: Gloria Rasmussen, AIA, CSI, LEED AP BD+C

Retail Architect (BCV):
Principal in Charge: Hans Baldauf, AIA (RA)
Project Architect/Manager: Colin Alley, AIA (RA)
Design Team: Asa Prentice, Derek Lueck, Wei-Pei Cherng

Preservation Architect (Page + Turnbull):
Principal in Charge: Jay Turnbull, FAIA
Project Manager: Elisa Hernandez Skaggs, Assoc. AIA

CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering Group, Inc. ' Kerry Ettinger, Julia Haberson

Murphy Burr Curry, Inc.' Pak Hui, Principal in Charge, Zack Kardon C.E.

ACCO Engineered Systems (Mechanical Design-Build Engineer) ' Jim Pauli, Project Manager

Roof Deck Landscape:
Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture ' Andrea Cochran, Principal in Charge

The Commons Landscape:
Acoustical Design Collaborative Ltd.

JS Nolan + Associates ' Janet Nolan, President

M/P: Taylor Engineers
Electrical: The Engineering Enterprise
Vertical Transportation: Edgett-Williams
Security & Telecom: TEECOM
Code consultant: The Fire Consultants/ Jeff Maddox
Waterproofing: McGinnis Chen Associates
Waterproofing: SGH

General contractor:

Bruce Damonte
PH: (415) 845-6919


863,000 square feet

Construction cost:

$90 million (Market Square)
$35 million (1 Tenth)

Completion date:

June 2014



Structural system
Existing Reinforced Concrete structure (floors B-9), Steel Frame (floors 10-11) of 1355 Market Street building

Voluntary seismic strengthening new concrete core & shear wall system, mat slab foundation, steel collector diaphragm tie system

Exterior cladding
Existing Terra Cotta (Historic)

Metal Panels:
Existing Cast Iron Spandrel Panels (Historic)

Metal/glass curtain wall:
Retail Storefronts ' Arcadia Screw Spline System, Dark Bronze Anodized Finish; structural glass door & wall (new 9th Street Entrance system); Rainscreen: exterior cement plaster patching to match existing at Ground Floor Stevenson Street fa'ade, 10th and 11th floor 1941 addition

Reclaimed wood from 9th floor demolition used throughout ground Floor Lobbies and Retail Hall, second and fourth floor tenant elevator lobbies

EIFS, ACM, or other:
• “Dryvit” Exterior cement Plaster system (Rooftop Penthouse, ninth floor roof deck)
• Exterior cement plaster: “BMI”

Moisture barrier:
Sherwin Williams ConFLex XL Exterior Elastomeric paint

Other cladding unique to this project:
Reclaimed wood from 9th floor demolition used throughout ground Floor Lobbies and Retail Hall, second and fourth floor tenant elevator lobbies

Main roof SIKA Saranfil PVC Membrane

Reproduction of historic Metal canopies at ground floor new ninth street entrance and 10th street canopy

Metal frame:
• Custom Windows (2nd Floor Aluminum Windows)
• Kawneer 8225TL Window System (Replacement Ribbon Window system at 10th and 11th floor)

• Ground Floor @ select retail portals: '' clear tempered glazing, installed by Mission Glass Company
• Second floor building management office and tenant spaces: '' clear tempered glazing, installed by Mission Glass Company
• 10th and 11th Floor: Vision Lites, insulated glass units
• '' Custom Tempered Structural glass window and door system at Ninth Floor Roof Deck & garden

Mecho-Shade manual shading systems installed at all punched and ribbon windows throughout

Ellison Bronze Inc ' Custom Balanced Doors

Custom Retail Portal Security Grille Motorized Roll-Ups:
Wire by Design 75 Wire Mesh, assembled by Alutech, installed by Cutting Edge Drapery.

Doors: Hollow metal paint grade base building standard

Upswinging doors, other:
(8x) Renlita Overhead Doors Series 2000 'Hingeway' Door, Motor-Operated

ILCO Mortise Type Thumbturn Cylinder, Schlage surface mounted double electromagnetic lock, CR Laurence Bottom Rail Deadlock

Ellison 'Power Now' automatic door operating system w/ Stanley Magic Force operator

Exit devices:
Sedco RX transmitter & receiver, operator activation switches

Rockwood 1.5' diameter stainless steel offset vertical pulls, Optex Safety Sensor

Base Building Lever hardware: Schlage
• “Commercial” series ND Sparta lever handle

Security devices: Ninth Street Lobby:
“Smarter Security” Clear Style Optical turnstiles

Other special hardware:
Von Duprin Power Supply

Interior finishes
custom 1/4' Thick blackened plate steel frame at new ninth street elevator lobby doors, base and portal openings

Reclaimed wood from 9th floor demolition used throughout ground Floor Lobbies and Retail Hall, second and fourth floor tenant elevator lobbies

Acoustical ceilings: Armstrong Cirrus 9/16'

Suspension grid: Armstrong

Paints and stains:
• Clear Matte sealer (reclaimed wood at select locations)
• Benjamin Moore paint

Paneling: Forms & Surfaces

Solid surfacing:
Caesarstone monolithic floating countertop with integral trough sink at all restrooms

Special surfacing:
• Blackened Steel Portals @ Retail entries ' DeVincenzi Architectural Products, Inc.
• Custom 'venetian' plaster veneer at select lobby ceilings and accent walls

Floor and wall tile:
All restrooms: Dal Tile 'Plaza Nova' series 12' x 24' wall and floor tiles

Resilient flooring:
Armstrong VCT at Security Rooms

Special interior finishes unique to this project:
• Wall Cladding on 1st floor of 1355 is reclaimed wood from demolished 9th Floor roof ' structural members in lobby and surrounding elevator core, T & G decking surrounding retail 'portals'
• Backlit laminated film glass panel system at new Ninth Street lobby
• Back painted and back lit glass panels in new Ninth Street elevator cabs
• Custom mixed 'Ardex' topping slab throughout entire Ground Floor public retail 'Hall' and Entrance lobbies
• Custom clear matte sealer on exposed concrete floor slabs in Ground Floor Retail hall and lobbies

Reception furniture:
Custom '' thick blackened steel plate reception desk at new ninth street lobby, new marble reception desk at Historic lobby

Fixed seating:
Custom 1/4' thick steel 'bench' at new Ninth Street Lobby

Interior ambient lighting:
B-K Lighting Olympus Metal Halide down light and up/down light (mounted on concrete columns)

• Borden LED surface-mounted downlight, I.O. Lighting 'Line .75 Asymmetric' Series LED Strip Light
• 'LiteLab' LED Track lighting system to highlight art installation at new Ninth Street Lobby
• Custom Rambusch Column mounted Halide Up-Down light at New Ninth Street Lobby and Retail Hall
• Edison-Price LED Wall Grazer at second floor lobby
Ninth Floor Roof Deck:

• BK Lighting 'El Dorado' wall mounted down light fixture
• BK Lighting 'Glow Star' Paver mounted pedestal fixture
• Bartco MiT5 linear florescent strip lighting
• Neo-Ray Gen II lensed recessed linear ceiling lights


Dimming System or other lighting controls:

• Kone destination control (new 6-bank elevators)
• Kone refurbishment of historic elevators to destination control
• Custom milk-white acrylic backlit ceiling cubes in elevator cabs

Accessibility provision:
overall accessibility upgrades to site and entrances to building, ADA accessible basement parking and access to all floors, all new accessible restrooms throughout.

• ElkayHi-LO drinking fountains all floors
• Kohler model K-7519 gooseneck faucet with mixing control
• American Standard low flo urinals and lavatories throughout
• All plumbing piping required to be domestic manufactured by building owner standards

Energy: Project Submitted for LEED GOLD certification
Energy management or building automation system:
HVAC controls by 'Sunbelt Controls'

Electrical: EMON-DEMON system

Photovoltaic system: Lutron

Other unique products that contribute to sustainability:
• Low flow restroom fixtures
• LED lighting and controls (sensor)
• Low VOC paints

Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project:
• 'CAFCO' spray-on intumescent fireproofing at ninth floor auditorium exposed steel structural columns and beams
• 'Shotcrete' seismic structural core and shear walls
• All non-structural light gauge metal framing by 'CEMCO'
• All native drought tolerant plantings at ninth floor roof deck & garden
• Syntheritc Turf 'lawn': SYNfescue platinum 351 at ninth floor roof deck garden
• Wausau custom concrete pedestal paver decking system at ninth floor roof deck garden