From its beginning, this concept of community informed 1 Franklin’s mid-rise housing design. Given its central location in the city, so close to restaurants, opportunities for socializing, cultural resources, and entertainment, we realized early in its development that 1 Franklin didn’t need over-the-top amenities. The city itself is the best possible amenity.
Plenty of luxury condominiums shout “Look at me,” but 1 Franklin simply says “This is us.” Its contemporary design motif is grounded by complementary colors, exterior facade materials like fiber-cement, and strong, simple detailing, like the porcelain tilework at the building’s base and its wood-veneer rain screen panels. Aesthetically and functionally, 1 Franklin sits comfortably among the surrounding architecture while standing out as a refined, well-scaled place to call home.
Our team’s community-engagement efforts to place 1 Franklin among its mixed neighborhood of historic buildings and commercial storefronts helped make this possible. Partnering with the owner and contractor, our modified design-build team worked closely with neighborhood groups, property owners, and adjacent business owners. Not only did gathering neighborhood support help us gracefully weave 1 Franklin’s detailing and overall scale into its existing urban fabric, their engagement sped the project’s development along. After several years of city reviews and despite a down economy, after its environmental review was finished, 1 Franklin went up quickly, efficiently, and at a low cost.
1 Franklin encourages residents to engage with their neighborhood, from the prominent—multiple bay windows that express the iconic San Francisco look, for example—to the programmatic, with studio, one- and two-bedroom units designed to flexibly subdivide among roommates or mixed families. Most of these homes have private decks, set back in a way that extends their living spaces outside. A secluded courtyard on the second floor gives residents respite in the middle of the city. Up on the sixth floor, a large, landscaped deck holds space for big gatherings and outdoor dinner parties.
Ironically, 1 Franklin’s site, just steps from multiple forms of mass transit, was a parking lot for years before it was redeveloped. Today, embodying San Francisco’s continual demand for housing and densification, the condominium includes secure bike parking but no extra space for automobiles; 1 Franklin rented out within 30 days of completion.
Fully embracing its surroundings, 1 Franklin is a design-forward, dignified downtown residence and gateway to all of San Francisco.