MIRA is a new model of sustainability with a sophisticated curtain wall façade
MIRA is an urban residential development in the heart of San Francisco. Just blocks from the Bay Bridge, Embarcadero, and Rincon Park, the 400-foot-tall tower creates a welcoming new community in the evolving Transbay district and accommodates a wide range of units, with 40 percent designated below market rate.
The project site provided a rare opportunity to respond to the need for dense housing in San Francisco; crucial to the sustainable and equitable development of cities is an abundance of affordable housing stock. During the design process, special attention was paid to maximizing this opportunity. As a result, the units within MIRA are extremely efficient within the context of the San Francisco housing market; units in the base and lower section of the tower are compact with greater density, with more spacious units on the top eight floors. MIRA provides nearly one full acre of open space over five levels; overall, the new vertical neighborhood created by the tower is equivalent to 16 blocks of homes in a typical city. The site design of this open space focuses on native plantings, creating habitats that serves native bird and insect populations.
The design offers new models of sustainability, all while reinterpreting the city’s architectural traditions. It evolves the classic bay window, a familiar feature of San Francisco’s early houses, reimagining it in a high-rise context. Twisting incrementally over the height of the tower, the bays offer ample views, natural light throughout the day, and fresh air, and also inform the building’s distinctive form and texture—the result of special attention to the building’s energy performance and how it is experienced. Extending the habitable spaces within and offering platforms from which to view the city at all angles, the bays make every residence a corner unit.
At street level, the bays greet pedestrians with a human-scaled texture and serve in place of awnings to protect retail storefronts and residential lobbies. Market-rate and affordable condominiums are integrated throughout the tower and the adjoining podium and townhome buildings, with a central courtyard, roof terrace, and shared amenity spaces connecting all residents.
A sophisticated curtain wall façade system, comprised of prefabricated spandrel and infill units that combine into a single system onsite, allows the bays to be attached to a repeatable structural slab from inside the building. Each spandrel unit is made from a single panel of aluminum that is folded and welded to create the distinctive bay geometries. In addition to improving watertightness, this approach also increased construction efficiency, reducing the need for a tower crane on site and limiting energy consumption and neighborhood impact during construction. The bays allow for a high-performance facade that is 51 percent opaque without inhibiting nearly 180-degree-views in every unit. The high-performance facade, along with an innovative VRF cooling system, allows the building to exceed ambitious California Title 24 energy standards. This, along with a state-of-the-art graywater harvesting system, green roofs, and high-efficiency fixtures, awarded the project LEED Gold certification.
Studio Gang (Lead Designer, Architect of Record) | Perry Architects Inc. (Associate Architect) | Barcelon Jang Architecture (Associate Architect)
Jeanne Gang (Lead Designer), Margaret Cavenagh, Zachary Heaps, Jordan Hicks, Thorsten Johann, and Mauricio Sánchez, with Paige Adams, JT Bachman, Shawn Barron, Francisco L. Padron Bolanos, Juan de la Mora, Jason Flores, Jay Hoffman, Prajakt Karmarkar, Emma Luo, Annette Miller, Roger Molina-Vera, AJ Rosales, Mark Schendel, Harry Soenksen, Perry Strong, Rolf Temesvari, Michael Vallera, Michan Walker, and Peter Zuroweste.
Magnussen Klemencic Associates (Structural Engineer), Bello & Associates (Associate Structural Engineer), Urban Design Consulting Engineers (Civil Engineer), INTERSTICE Architects (Landscape Architect), Thornton Tomasetti (LEED / sustainability consultant), Papadimos Group (Acoustic Engineer), PritchardPeck Lighting (Lighting Designer), Heintges & Associates (Façade Consultant), Rollo & Ridley (Geotechnical Engineer), C.S. Caulkins Co. Inc. (Façade Access Consultant), Zachary Nathan Architect (Accessibility Consultant), Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (Waterproofing Engineer), The Fire Consultants (Fire Consultant), Watry Design, Inc. (Parking Consultant)
(c) Jason O'Rear
the 400-foot-tall tower creates a welcoming new community in the evolving Transbay district and accommodates a wide range of units, with 40 percent designated below market rate. The project also includes a gym, lobby, multiple outdoor terraces, and other resident amenitites.