Neighborhood Diversity

July 1, 2016
The 12-story Olume multifamily residential building in San Francisco’s Mission District features a unique multilayered cube-like metal facade, which has become one of the most recognizable buildings in the city.
San Francisco
Arquitectonica International Corp.
CHALLENGE:A big compliment to architects is hearing that one of their building designs has become a recognizable landmark. That is the case for architects at the Los Angeles office of Arquitectonica Intl. Corp., who designed the 12-story, 138,512-sq.-ft. Olume multifamily residential building in San Francisco’s Mission District with a unique multi-layered cube-like metal façade. INFLUENCE:Arquitectonica was brought in to redesign the façade of the building after the project’s entitlement process had been completed. “We were asked to re-think the exterior,” said architect Ilon Keilson, who shared project management duties with architect Leon Cheng, AIA, of Arquitectonica. “This building is located on a prominent corner (Mission and 10th streets). We were asked to create a more vibrant landmark. We needed to maximize square footage for the client while also creating depth in the elevation to get a sense of relief. From a thematic standpoint, we wanted to introduce dynamism through depth. We wanted to reflect diversity in the neighborhood and in residential buildings,” says Cheng. The varying façade depths “were accentuated with the color palette,” according to Cheng, who said the architects wanted to incorporate red in the building as one of San Francisco’s more prominent colors associated with both the city’s Golden Gate Bridge and its NFL 49ers professional football team. SOLUTION:The resulting façade design for the L-shaped building appears as an abstract series of colored metal cubes created from Alucobond Plus ACM by 3A Composites USA and installed at five variable depths—ranging from -8 in. to +8 in.— with the building’s glazing set back 2 in. to 8 in. from the metal panels. “Keith Panel Systems Co. Ltd. gave us an extensive set of shop drawings that basically served as an erector set,” said Jeff Young, project manager, Pacific Erectors, the installers on the project. “Our biggest challenge was installing all of the colors. We were able to assist the design team in determining where colors should transition in the articulation. … This color scheme was a complete departure from the original façade design. It really looks unique. It’s a great-looking building.” null

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