San Francisco
Photo © Bruce Damonte
Photo © Bruce Damonte
Photo © Bruce Damonte
Photo © Bruce Damonte
Photo © Bruce Damonte
Handel Architects
1401 Market Street, 94103 San Francisco

Crescent Heights

Market-Rate Residential Deal of the Year | San Francisco Business Times

Located at the corner of 10th and Market Streets, adjacent to the San Francisco Civic Center district and across the street from the new Twitter Headquarters, this residential rental complex creates one of the densest developments in the city at 754 units on a 1.52 acre site.   Composed of two high-rise towers separated by mid-rise volumes, NEMA is linked together in a dynamic and fluid composition that responds to the urban and pedestrian-driven context of the district.  


Set back from corner of the site, the octagonal north tower rises to 387 feet and anchors the corner at 10th and Market Street and plays a key role to the identity of the project.  The glass, multi-faceted exterior façade of the tower is designed to reflect the changing light of the sky which is so familiar to the experience of living in San Francisco. Dark metal strips emphasize the verticality of the tower and tie in the base, which is predominantly clad in dark metal. A natural entry plaza is created through the tower’s setback, which incorporates an art installation by a San Francisco–based artist and landscape designer. Her work also runs through the volumes in the form of an exposed concrete ribbon, expressed in a zebra-like pattern.


Flanking the east and west sides of the north tower, two lower volumes help define the pedestrian scale along the street edges of both 10th and Market Streets.  These facades are expressed in a metal panel treatment creating a strong juxtaposition to the central tower’s more dominate glass texture. The ground level storefronts are expressed with floor-to-ceiling glass, floating the volumes above and creating a seamless flow from streetscape to retail at the ground level.


Rising on the southern end of the site, the south tower rises to 238 feet and is composed of two rectilinear forms aligned in an east/west direction to balance the site’s composition.  In order to emphasize a reading of two separate volumes and create a sense of separation and movement, each one is expressed individually as either all glass or all metal.  Taken together the composite of each of these façades gives a fluidity to the volumes as they move around the block.

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