Uber Advanced Technologies Group is a self-driving technology engineering team whose Research and Development Center was designed within Pier 70 in San Francisco. The project which rehabilitated four massive derelict historic buildings, served to extend the site’s legacy of transportation innovation into the 21st century.
Orton Development Inc, Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects, with a team of engineers and other design specialists, worked closely with the Port of San Francisco, the National Park Service, and California’s State Historic Preservation Office to adapt these historic industrial structures. In accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties., the design approach uses a (new) building-within-an-(old) building concept to preserve the historic perimeter walls, while and retaining the lofty volumes of the industrially scaled spaces. The retrofit system, engineered by Nabih Youssef Associates, is designed to resist a 500-yearrecurrence 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. Full height walls have upper portions sheathed in clear, multi-wall polycarbonate to maintain the building's original site lines.
Previously occupied by Bethlehem Steel, this edifice was home to one of the largest ship-repair yards on the west coast where significant 19th and 20th Century naval innovations were developed. The four contiguous buildings not only originated in different decades, but are of widely varying construction types and materials, including un-reinforced masonry, reinforced concrete, and wood or steel trusses. Regarded as the most complete 19th century industrial complex west of the Mississippi River, the project is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Union Iron Works Historic District. However, years of abandonment, vandalism, earthquakes, and exposure had pushed the site to the brink of disaster. About ninety percent of the utilities had been stolen, and heavy vandalism and weatherization plagued the site.
Respectful and sensitive, the new interventions are distinct from historic features, but maintain the color and material palette of the original buildings. Notably, the existing structural columns, beams, trusses, walls, were not coated with opaque paints, but left natural or protected with transparent coatings when needed. Demising large industrial spaces with steel and glass walls preserve the spatial character of the cavernous industrial buildings, including the original facades and suspended cranes. During schematic design, the layout of the buildings’ new spaces was specifically considered to improve energy use, clean air, and sound pollution issues. Designed by Architecture & Light, all new lighting is accomplished with high efficiency fixtures and LEDs, including the units which highlight preserved architectural elements.
Before the project began, the site was almost entirely closed off; years of neglect and vandalism had made the buildings dangerous and inaccessible. While revitalizing a crumbling and unsafe shipyard facility into a vibrant place for work, the design team also created spaces for public gathering, and reopened a piece of San Francisco that had been closed off for too long.
Material Used :
1. Office Partition, Glass Wall System, Detex Battery Alarm, Blumcraft Hardware and Elephant Doors: C.R. Laurence Co. Inc.
2. Doors for Large Openings: Fleetwood
3. Historic Window Replacement: Winco
4. Polycarbonate Partition: Plazity Polygal
5. High-bay LED Lighting: Lithonia Lighting
6. Suspended Linear LED: Fluxwerx
7. Tape LED Amber Light at Crane: Aion LED
8. LED Surface Utility Strip: Philips Daybrite
9. LED Wall-mounted LED: Axis Twin Beam