Kilroy Realty Corp's latest San Francisco venture is now under construction in the city's vibrant Mission Bay area. The Exchange on 16th, a $485 million ground-up, mixed-use development broke ground last month.

Designed by Los Angeles-based architect firm Rios Clementi Hale Design Studios, the 700,000-sq-ft project is targeting LEED Platinum and consists of two six-story and two 12-story buildings that will incorporate the "eclectic elements" of the surrounding neighborhood.

Ben Toam, senior associate at Rios Clementi Hale Studios told me this week that his firm has designed a "dynamic urban space that is responsive to the site and context." He said his team's most interesting challenge was working contextually within Mission Bay and the surrounding neighborhoods.

"We integrated the architecture and landscape design to activate the urban spaces surrounding the project," says Toam. "Pocket parks and lush rain gardens are scattered throughout the project, street-level plazas and courtyards energize the ground spaces, and roof gardens create social spaces and amenities for tenants."

Kilroy officials say The Exchange will appeal to a "diverse range of users, including both office and life science tenants," while offering and open, efficiently designed floor plates with high ceilings, abundant natural light and views of San Francisco Bay. The four inter-connected buildings uniquely align to provide three levels of up to 95,000 sq-ft, horizontal super floors.

The project, which is being built by San Francisco-based Hathaway Dinwiddie, also boasts lots of collaborative outdoor spaces, including two large public lobbies, roof-top gardens and lush landscaping. The project also combines an array of amenities designed to make mobility an integral part of the work day, including a lobby bike spa and approximately 15,000 sq-ft of retail space.

“The Exchange is a project about creative workspace for the modern technological age. With easy freeway access, ample public transportation and numerous residential and retail options within walking or cycling distance, The Exchange sits at the intersection of high-tech industry and dynamic locale,” said KRC Chairman, President and CEO John Kilroy in a recent news release.

With The Exchange on 16th now underway, KRC says it has four projects totaling more than 1.6 million sq-ft of space, under construction in the San Francisco Bay Area. The other three projects are 100% leased to, Box, Inc. and Dropbox. This projects are worth an estimated $1.1 billion, says the company.