AVA 55 Ninth
This 17-floor apartment tower, by developer Avalon Bay, now dubbed AVA. Located on 55 9th Street in the Mid-Market neighbourhood of San Francisco, California, this new high-rise residential building is a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom rentals open for occupancy as of March 2014. The design is a sleek tower of glass that appeals to a hip, urban crowd.
Avalon Bay Developers targeted their residential project AVA 55 9th Street toward the Millennials attracted to Tech Corridor employment along newly developed Mid Market. The establishment of a sense of community was a key branding element to their newly constructed project. For the architecture design by Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) of Chicago, this meant amenities such as shared gathering spaces with large comfortable chairs and wifi access (not dissimilar in design to work spaces of the technology com- panies located near by), dog washing areas, a bike repair shop, and athletic facilities.
One of the first major components of the Mid-Market Street revitalization in San Francisco’s Civic Center district and immediately adjacent to the new Twitter Headquarters, the project places fifteen floors of rental units over a two-story podium housing retail space, a bike repair and storage shop, tenant fitness and amenity functions, and a major exterior landscaped terrace. The architectural language for both interior and exterior is intended to appeal to a younger, technically-savvy clientele. Vibrant patterns in glass and color are used to act as a visual bridge between the two scales of the older masonry buildings of the Civic Center to the north and the newer glass and metal structures to the south.
Building Design Features:
- AVA 55 Ninth is a new living space amidst the energy of San Francisco. The property’s open-concept design features an urban inspiration that extends beyond residents’ walls to social spaces promoting connection, relaxation, and play. Neighboring Twitter headquarters, the property features lounges that spill out onto a huge terrace with flat screens, grills, outdoor dining, work pods, and a bevy of communal areas that define an all-inclusive oasis for city life escapism.
- 55 Ninth Street was designed to speak to the sensibilities and needs of the younger, tech-savvy generation of workers flooding the revitalized Civic Center area without sacrificing a conscientious response to the building’s context. The design emphasizes finishes of exposed board-formed concrete and ecologically sensitive and reused materials and furnishings throughout to appeal to residents.
- A south-facing outdoor amenity deck serves as one of many social focal points for this community-driven generation. AVA 55 Ninth gradually steps its scale from a large, glass cubist expression against the northern property down to an intricate, highly-textured wall in warm hues, as a gesture to its more delicate southern neighbor.
- Units are designed to support an energetic and playful living experience and feature gear spaces and utility centers, as well as open living areas with linear kitchens to allow maximum flexibility in furnishing. Energy efficiency and occupant comfort are chief concerns: the project utilizes a high performance curtainwall system with trickle vents to optimize heat gain/loss, which greatly contributes to energy efficiency and allows occupant control over natural ventilation.
- Solar thermal hot water pre-heat rooftop panels provide a source of renewable energy to offset fossil fuel energy demand. Material conservation has also been addressed by diverting 95 percent of construction waste from landfills and specifying 20 percent recycled content for all building materials.
- Completed in March 2014, AVA 55 Ninth is pursuing LEED Silver certification. The project features natural ventilation and a high performance curtain-wall system with trickle vents to optimize heat gain/loss.
Solomon Cordwell Buenz:
AVA 55 Ninth is a 352,000 sf, 17-storey building housing 273 rental apartments. Developer Avalon Bay envisioned a new building that would appeal to the younger, tech-savvy generation of workers flooding the revitalized Civic Center area. SCB designed the project to speak to the sensibilities and needs of this new type of resident—while offering a sensitive response to the building’s context.
Solomon Cordwell Buenz’s goal was to meet all the conditions of the previously entitled design for the site, but to revise the building design to look more residential. This led to the size of the building being reduced and as a result, reduced the impact on the neighbourhood.
To realize the client’s vision and speak to the desired resident demographic, the design emphasizes finishes of exposed board-formed concrete and ecologically sensitive and re-used materials and furnishings. A generous, South-facing outdoor amenity deck serves as one of many social focal points for this community-driven generation, providing exterior kitchens and lounge spaces, table tennis, and a movie screen with ample seating in a lushly landscaped setting.
Units are flexible and are designed to appeal to the broad range of households that desire an energetic and playful urban living experience. The project includes studios, 1- and 2-bed ‘urban explorer’ units, and more traditional units that incorporate some of the features found in the urban explorer unit types, including gear spaces and utility centres. All units feature open living areas with linear kitchens to allow maximum flexibility in furnishing.
The expression of the exterior façade acts as a bridge in scale, colour, and materiality between the buildings flanking the project: a monolithic twenty-story office building with dark ribbon windows to the North and a finely-detailed brick and terra cotta building from the 1920s to the South. AVA 55 Ninth takes its colour cues from each, and then gradually steps its scale from a large, glass cubist expression against the northern property down to an intricate, highly-textured wall in warm hues as a gesture to its more delicate southern neighbour.
Project name: AVA 55 Ninth
Location: 55 Ninth St, San Francisco, California 94103 United States
Coordinates: 37.777061, -122.415164
Type: Apartment, Apartment Interior, Skyscraper
Size: 17-story, 115 Parking Spaces, 273 unit residential high-rise building
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 352,000 sq.ft
Completion Year: March 2014
Visit AVA 55 Ninth’s website: here
Client / Owner / Developer: Avalon Bay Communities
Architect: Solomon Cordwell Buenz – 625 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 800, Chicago, Illinois, 60611 United States
Interior Designer: Degen & Degen – 1402 Third Avenue, Suite 1100, Seattle, Washington 98101 United States
Builder: AvalonBay Companies
Land Planner: PGA Design, Inc.
Text Description: © Courtesy of Solomon Cordwell Buenz, Avalon Bay Communities, arup, worldarchitecturenews
Images: © Solomon Cordwell Buenz, AVA 55 Ninth, Bruce Damonte