Owner Orton Development Inc.
Lead Design Firm Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects
General Contractors Nibbi Brothers General Contractors and Novo Construction
Civil Engineer Sherwood Engineering
Structural Engineer Nabih Youssef
MEP Engineer Engineering 350
Window Curtain Wall Ed Hemmet
Historic Preservation Architect Mark Hulbert - Preservation Architecture

Preserving history while marking the high-tech future, this project encompassed four historic buildings at Pier 70 in San Francisco. Built between 1885 and 1937, the structures included unreinforced masonry, reinforced concrete and wood or steel trusses. Crews inserted mezzanines, bridges and stairs, and designers utilized architectural lighting to shape the spaces, define functions and highlight the industrial history of the Uber Advanced Technologies Group’s new R&D Center.

A retrofit system was designed to resist a 500-year-recurrence seismic event; steel columns and braces are strategically located along the existing building structure to minimize visual impact. New concrete mezzanines not only add leasable area, but also brace the historic brick walls at mid-height.

Dividing large industrial spaces with steel and transparent glass walls preserves the character of the cavernous industrial building while separating tenants.

Conference rooms and other programmed functions are new free-standing elements within the large volumes. Lab, shop and kitchen spaces are located under mezzanines, allowing for control of noise, temperature and containing dust. To condition the cavernous spaces, natural ventilation augmented with ceiling fans and radiant heat were provided. Full-height walls have upper portions sheathed in clear, multi-wall polycarbonate to maintain the building’s original sight lines. Teamwork was invaluable for cost control, says the submitter.

The architect collaborated with the developer and specialty contractors to reduce the cost of the 50-ft-high glass walls to one-third of their original estimates. Extensive investigative work by the developer and contractor informed the design team’s detailing. As a result, an unsafe and crumbling shipyard facility has now become a state-of-the-art, vibrant place for work and public gatherings.

ENR's Best of the Best Projects 2018