Located in downtown San Francisco, 5M SoMA is a phased, mixed-use development that reshapes four acres between 5th, Mission, and Howard Streets into a series of open park spaces and green terraces amid low-, mid-, and high-rise buildings with office, residential, and civic programs.
KPF master planned the entire development and designed the site’s three major buildings to garner entitlements for the overall project. Two commercial buildings are connected by an eight story bridge spanning over Natoma Street, with careful consideration given to the massing and articulation of the site’s tallest tower to reduce its visual bulk and to emphasize its separation from the neighboring residential tower and existing nearby hotel. Steps in the buildings’ forms reduce the wind tunnel effect that large buildings can create, dispersing in different directions upon contact.
The overall massing of 5M SoMA relates to the context of the neighboring streets, which to the north are denser and more commercial and to the south are smaller, industrial, and residential. Rather than a single homogenous group of buildings, 5M SoMA uses materiality and pattern to present a varied appearance with the functionality of a single mixed-use complex. This sense of variety breaks up the scale and relates the buildings to the surrounding, lower-rise context.
The design also incorporates a significant amount of office and residential space into a project with limited square footage. The office program, with its large open floor plates, column-free interiors, and “activity-based” layouts promoting a variety of collaborative spaces, suits major technology companies as tenants. By introducing dynamic, new tenants, more residences, and new civic spaces, 5M SoMA will invigorate the surrounding neighborhood.