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Old Posted Jun 11, 2006, 6:24 PM
BTinSF BTinSF is offline
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SAN FRANCISCO | One Rincon (Tower One) | 641 FT / 195 M | 60 FLOORS

The south tower is the one on the right.

And here's a webcam of the site: http://www.onerinconhill.com/webcam.html

At 550 ft and 54 stories, this is NOT a supertall building, but the reason I thought it worthy of a thread here is that its slender shape and other features make it quite pretty from my perspective, but also it is sited on top of Rincon Hill. I'm not sure of the hill height, but it could be as much as another 150 ft above the Bay putting the top of the structure at more like 700 ft in the air above the Bay. Also, it sits right next to the Bay Bridge approaches and 80/101 freeways. It will dominate them and make a very impressive entrance to the city.
Old Posted Jun 11, 2006, 8:53 PM
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Very nice...San Francisco's really on a roll right now.
Old Posted Jun 11, 2006, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Hoodrat
Very nice...San Francisco's really on a roll right now.
Yes. I've even read that a few projects have been delayed or put on hold just because there's not enough labor/concrete/steel for more construction right now and they'll have to wait until one or more of the present projects are finished before starting anything new. Aside from the buildings, the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge is going up and it's a HUGE project:

Note the single "cable-stayed" tower that was a source of intense debate (the Governor just wanted a cheaper viaduct with no tower but the tower's going in).
Old Posted Jun 15, 2006, 8:00 PM
J Church J Church is offline
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Alright, we got an official height for this tower from the architects: 641'/63 stories. That is structural top from the main entrance.
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Old Posted Jun 15, 2006, 8:48 PM
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Yep--I changed the title of the thread to reflect the true height given by the architect.

641', 63 stories for Tower One and 541' for Tower Two:

Under construction right now in San Francisco: over 6,700 housing units and 5,400,000 square feet of commercial space.
Old Posted Jun 15, 2006, 8:49 PM
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I'm iffy on the floor count. Fact sheet still lists it at 55, although the architect's representative told me there are 63 levels (?).
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Old Posted Jun 15, 2006, 10:01 PM
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^That's what Eddo saw on the blueprints as well, 63 stories.

At this point, with the fact sheet being almost 100' off on the building height, I'm not sure we should stick with 55--but we can always edit as more info comes in.
Under construction right now in San Francisco: over 6,700 housing units and 5,400,000 square feet of commercial space.
Old Posted Jun 15, 2006, 10:33 PM
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What ever the stories, it'll look nice from the bay bridge.
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Old Posted Jun 15, 2006, 10:34 PM
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Well, the fact sheet says 641' and 55 stories. I'm generally less concerned with the floor count than the actual size of the thing, although it would be nice to have a "60-story building" around here. I've seen both 60 and 58 for 301 Mission.
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Old Posted Jun 15, 2006, 10:59 PM
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Ah--now, see, I thought the 55 number was coming from an older fact sheet. If the new one says 641' and 55 then I'll change the thread title to 55.
Under construction right now in San Francisco: over 6,700 housing units and 5,400,000 square feet of commercial space.
Old Posted Jul 2, 2006, 2:35 AM
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Tall, skinny ... stable
Using novel technology, S.F. tower should resist quakes, gales
- Carl Nolte, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, July 2, 2006

When the San Francisco building inspectors looked at what the architects and engineers had in mind for a 55-story condominium tower on top of Rincon Hill, they were intrigued.

The first of two buildings was a tall, slim tower, a building developer Michael Kriozere said was designed to change the city's skyline.

It would be built on a narrow site right where the Bay Bridge comes into San Francisco. Because of its location, it would be an instant landmark. "It will have simple, strong lines. It is meant to be seen at a distance,'' Kriozere said.

But under the skin, the building is a startling departure from anything the city inspectors have seen before.

"There is not another building like this in the world,'' said Ron Klemencic, the structural engineer for the One Rincon project.

From the outside, the taller building, 641 feet from the street to the top, looks simple enough -- a tall glass tower, round on three sides. It won't be another Transamerica Pyramid, or a black monolith like the Bank of America building, which are not only taller, but more massive.

What's inside and on the top of the Rincon Hill tower is what makes it different. The engineering, Klemencic said, "is on the cutting edge.''

It is always a challenge to build a high-rise on top of a hill in earthquake country, particularly in San Francisco, which still harbors dark memories of the great quake and fire that destroyed the city 100 years ago. Now the city has complex building codes, and putting up a tower on the top of a hill has special challenges -- not just earthquakes, but strong winds that blow off the Pacific in winter, sometimes over 75 miles an hour, hurricane force on the Beaufort Wind Scale.

Kriozere and his associates picked Klemencic, president of the Seattle firm of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, as the structural engineer. The architect is John Lahey, managing partner of Solomon Cordwell Buenz, of Chicago. Klemencic says the design was "a collaborative effort" among the architect, the engineer and the developer.

Klemencic is 43, a tall man who has worked on tall buildings all over the world. He is the chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an international industry group that includes among its members some of the top authorities on the tallest buildings in the world.

Back in the 20th century, a skyscraper would be built around a steel frame, the way a human is built around a skeleton. But now, many tall buildings are built around a concrete core, poured around reinforced steel for strength.

Underneath this is a concrete and steel foundation based on bedrock. At One Rincon, the foundation is 12 feet thick. The bedrock on Rincon Hill is serpentine, a metamorphic green rock sometimes called "slickrock.''

Some engineers looked on it with suspicion, but building on serpentine bedrock is not unheard of. The bedrock under the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge is largely serpentine.

At Rincon Hill, the building's core is slowly rising out of the foundation. The core looks like the clasped fingers of a steel hand, with concrete poured on the steel.

Another building using the concrete core method is the Intercontinental Hotel, going up at Fifth and Howard streets, south of Market.

One advantage of the core construction as opposed to the steel-frame method is that the condos in the towers would not have structural members obscuring the windows. This means floor-to-ceiling windows and spectacular views. The better the view, the more the developer can charge.

Outside of the core at One Rincon will be outriggers, tall columns made of steel-reinforced concrete. These provide extra strength. The outrigger design is "tried and true,'' said Raymond Lui, a structural engineer with the San Francisco Building Inspection Department.

But Klemencic introduced another element that interested the building inspectors. These were V-shaped devices called buckling restrained braces, installed between the outriggers and the core. These act something like the shock absorbers in automobiles to provide an extra edge in the event of earthquake.

One of the problems of braces is that they tend to buckle -- fold up and lose all strength -- in the event of some serious shock, an earthquake, for example. But the buckling restrained braces, which are steel, are encased in a sleeve of steel and reinforced concrete designed to prevent buckling.

"This is the first time in the United States that these have been used in this way,'' Klemencic said. Lui agrees. "I don't think anyone has used the buckling restrained braces with outriggers before,'' Lui said. "It is a new structural concept,'' said Hanson Tom, program manager for the city's Building Inspection Department.

The tower has yet another unusual feature -- on the very top are two water tanks holding about 100,000 gallons combined. Each tank will also have two liquid damper screens to control the flow of the water. The purpose of the tanks is to counter the sway of the building in a high wind.

Strong winds can make even the biggest buildings move; this one can sway 15 to 16 inches, which could be upsetting to the residents.

"You would feel the vibration if you didn't have the damper,'' Lui said. But the design idea is that if the wind tends to move the building one way, the water would provide a counterbalance for stability.

This concept has never been used in this country before.

No single element in the design caused a problem, but all of the innovations -- in what Klemencic calls "a performance-based design" rather than a prescriptive design -- meant the city wanted to look carefully at the tower.

It convened a peer review with three eminent engineers -- Jack Moehle, a UC Berkeley professor whom Tom describes as "a world-renowned specialist'' in structural engineering; Ronald Hamburger of Oakland, another famous engineer who has been president of the Structural Engineers Association; and Lelio Mejia, an expert in seismic engineering.

The peer group checked the calculations and the design, and ran tests at UC Berkeley to simulate earthquakes earlier this year. "The biggest quake we had here was 7.8 on the scale on the San Andreas Fault,'' Klemencic said. "We simulated five times that. We simulated 14 different major earthquakes,'' he said. "It performed fine."

The world of top seismic engineers is small. Klemencic had studied under Moehle at Berkeley, so his former professor once again examined his work. "It's like defending your Ph.D. thesis over and over again,'' Klemencic said, "like doing homework over. It's pretty rigorous.''

The panel signed off on the building, and the city inspectors were satisfied; the permit to go ahead was issued after the first of the year, and the concrete pouring began. The first tower is scheduled for completion in 2008. After that, a second, smaller tower is planned. In all, there will be 695 condos and 14 townhouses, nearly all of them expensive.

Klemencic is pleased with how it is coming out. "This is one of my favorite examples of our engineering achievements,'' he said. "The building is fantastic.''

He always wanted to be an engineer, he said. "When I was a kid (in Racine, Wis.), I used to build cities in sandboxes.''

Klemencic's career has been in very tall buildings, but he has a flaw. "I'm deathly afraid of heights,'' he said.

Page B - 1
URL: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg.../02/RINCON.TMP
Old Posted Jul 2, 2006, 3:39 AM
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Hey just an FYI, the website had a brand new video up. Similar to the orginally but pans out more, also shows some up close scans of the building. Well worth checking out.
Old Posted Jul 3, 2006, 9:00 AM
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New Chronicle graphic on the tower's infrastructure:

Under construction right now in San Francisco: over 6,700 housing units and 5,400,000 square feet of commercial space.
Old Posted Aug 13, 2006, 3:29 AM
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Crew adores Rincon tower but can't afford to live there
Carl Nolte, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, August 13, 2006
One in an occasional series on the construction of a high-rise on San Francisco's Rincon Hill.

A little more each day, rising steadily on Rincon Hill, where the Bay Bridge lands in San Francisco, the steel-and-concrete core of a new landmark is taking shape.

Just now, it looks a bit like the nest of some giant prehistoric bird, with steel reinforcing bars knitted tightly together like a woven basket. When the "rebar," as it is called in the trade, is all in place, concrete is poured over it, producing the strong heart of what will be a 641-foot condo tower, the first of two high-rise buildings in a project called One Rincon Hill.

Building the tower involves an intricate dance of workers and material, steel and concrete, mixed with the big-bucks economics of a $290 million project. It will also help transform a formerly funky hilltop into a new upscale San Francisco neighborhood.

"We spent 10 months just figuring out how to do this job," said Peter Read, who is in charge of construction for Bovis Lend Lease, the main contractor on the job. It is a project of enormous complexity, involving a slender high-rise of unusual design on a narrow site right next to the Bay Bridge approach.

When it is finished in 2008, the first tower will contain 43,000 cubic yards of concrete weighing 87,075 tons and 6,271 tons of rebar, which, if it were straightened and laid end to end, would stretch from San Francisco to Lubbock, Texas.

There will be 453,000 feet of conduit, and 9,000 electrical fixtures, according to Webcor Concrete, a major subcontractor of the job.

Last week, crews finished the foundation and the base of the tower and started going up.

They are now on the fifth floor of the residential tower; there are 50 more to go. The big construction crane that stands next to the site is 220 feet high. Bovis Lend Lease, the general contractor, says that at the height of construction, on the top of the tower, the crane will be 720 feet above the crest of Rincon Hill.

The work goes on from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., six days a week. There are 98 men and two women on the job -- carpenters, ironworkers ("rodbusters," they are called), laborers and some others. But when the job goes into a higher gear and construction of the condo units begins, there will be hundreds more.

Many of the workers say there is something special about this tower.

"This is one of those great projects you'll be able to tell your grandkids about," said Julie Anne Linsley, who runs a hoist -- a construction elevator -- inside the building.

"You'll be able to see this building from El Cerrito, from Richmond, from Fremont, from all over. I'll say, 'Look at that. Granny got to build that high-rise.' " Linsley, who is 39 and lives in Oakland, doesn't have any grandchildren yet, "but I plan on having 'em."

Sometimes, the workers will simply stand and look at the building going up.

"You know," said Mike McGuire, a construction supervisor, "after a job like this, there aren't too many other projects in the world that wouldn't be happy to take you."

The Rincon Hill project has its ironic side, though.

In the 19th century, the hill and nearby South Park were fashionable neighborhoods, and then, in the 1920s and '30s, the hill went into a gradual decline. There were a number of shacks on the south side.

During the 1934 waterfront strike, considered a landmark in San Francisco's social history, a pitched battle -- the so-called Battle of Rincon Hill -- broke out between San Francisco police and strikers. The strikers threw rocks and other objects at the police, and the police used tear gas on the strikers. It was a full-fledged riot, or series of riots, that moved closer to the waterfront, where police shot and killed two union men, setting off San Francisco's only general strike.

In later years, Rincon Hill became the home for waterfront labor unions, including the Sailors' Union of the Pacific. The union's sleek, white, art-modern headquarters is right across the street from One Rincon.

But the new San Francisco, a city that is growing up south of Market, has not much room for the working class.

The price tag for the luxury townhouses at the foot of the tower and the condo units in the high-rise are in the $1 million range, so almost none of the workers who are building One Rincon can afford to live there.

Construction workers have some of the best-paid blue-collar jobs around: a journeyman carpenter makes $32.25 a hour, with lots of work now and overtime available. But they probably would not have the other financial qualifications to afford a home in the tower.

Fadi Lazkani, a field superintendent for Webcor, works on One Rincon, but economics have forced him into one of those killer commutes -- he lives in Riverbank (Stanislaus County) in the San Joaquin Valley, near Modesto, a 180-mile round-trip six days a week.

Lazkani leaves his home at 4:20 a.m. to arrive at Rincon Hill at 6:15. He spends four hours on the road every day, sharing driving with his brother, who also works on the project.

Why Riverbank? Because he could buy a brand-new house there for his wife and two children for $388,000.

Could he afford to live in the tower he is building now? "What are you talking about?" he said. "I can't afford to live in the Bay Area."

Lazkani was born in Tripoli, Lebanon, 31 years ago and came to the United States in 1991. There was no future for him in Lebanon, he said. "When I came, people warned me about crime in this country. They said it was unsafe. Yeah? You ought to live in Lebanon for a couple of years," he said.

He's been in construction for 14 years. He started as a laborer and worked his way up to carpenter. The standards are strict, he said. "You have to take classes for four years. Every quarter, you go to apprenticeship school for a week.''

He moved up steadily, changing jobs as he went, working on different projects. One was working concrete on San Francisco's Embarcadero light-rail line, an interesting job, he said.

One of his favorite jobs was working on the St. Regis Hotel at Third and Mission streets, one of the cornerstones of the new South of Market district. He liked working on a high-rise building -- "I was up on the 37th and 38th floors, looking down on all the people below," he said. "We built a condo that was worth $4 million."

Construction is a young person's game, it appears. Around the job, most of the men appear to be in their 20s and 30s. It's hard work, pulling and hauling, it pays well, and for now, the work is steady.

But it is also dangerous work. Last month, a construction platform collapsed, and four workmen fell about 8 feet. Three of them are back on the job, but one sustained a broken ankle, and he's still off work.

"Once, I fell four floors when I was working on a job," said Rob Walk, 52, the senior superintendent for Bovis Lend Lease, the principal contractor at One Rincon. "It knocked the wind out of me, but I wasn't hurt. The boss said, 'Get up! Go back to work.'

"I've been in this business 32 years, and I took the tools off 18 years ago," he said. "I'm not sorry."
The skinny on the tower

Units: 376 condos, 14 townhomes

Unit price: Up to $2 million


87,075 tons of concrete

6,271 tons of rebar

453,000 feet of conduit

9,000 electrical fixtures

Workforce: 98 men, 2 women
1,000 posts and still going...
Old Posted Aug 18, 2006, 3:43 AM
AK47KC AK47KC is offline
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A much needed update to this thread (picturewise). Well, the building core is around 5-6 stories high and the framework reaches around three stories. The columns that will support the 14 townhouses in the future are beginning to show themselves, and soon that hole in between the South Tower and Harrison St. will disappear, as well as the view of the massive foundation block.

Pics I forgot to load last week (8/11)

The site and the 220 ft. crane. It will be very hard to capture the entire crane when the building thrusts higher into the sky.

Getting closer. You can kind of make out the building's shape.

Lower view of the site, crane seems to be placing large pieces of rebar.

Closer view of the core and the men working. It seems like they are using the crane to move the concrete, resulting in slowcrete, since I haven't seen a concrete pump yet and the associated rig.

The massive foundation of the tower.

Closer view again.

From the corner.

Another pic.


The site on 8/16.

The columns are now visible. Pretty soon, they will poke above Harrison St.

The crane and work continuing.

The ad and worksite.

Want more pics? Speak up, because I walk by the site almost everyday.
Old Posted Sep 5, 2006, 12:11 AM
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this has got to be one of my favorite projects out there. i was in san fran area in early april and remember driving by that zone before getting on the bridge. mighty jealous of that building.
Old Posted Sep 5, 2006, 1:04 AM
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Nice, good to see this project moving along. It's going to make a nice addition to SF. However, the name "Rincon" seems like a horrible misuse of the English language--as if someone at engrish.com were trying to say "Lincoln." (although I'll admit I've never actually heard it pronounced before, which could end up being completely different than how it is spelled)
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Old Posted Sep 5, 2006, 2:55 AM
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Rincon is spanish for corner. Locally the con is pronounced like con-artist, with the emphasis on con. Rin-CON hill.
Old Posted Sep 5, 2006, 3:07 AM
BTinSF BTinSF is offline
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Originally Posted by AntonAusTirol
the name "Rincon" seems like a horrible misuse of the English language--as if someone at engrish.com were trying to say "Lincoln." (although I'll admit I've never actually heard it pronounced before, which could end up being completely different than how it is spelled)
I don't get what you're saying. As Slock points out it's Spanish and in SF it's actually a fairly historic place name. I'm not sure when Rincon Hill was named but it was a long time ago. By one historical account ( http://www.spur.org/documents/030101_article_02.shtm ), "In the mid-1840s, when San Francisco was a ragged collection of adobe and frame buildings with a population of little more than 200 residents, Rincon Hill was an isolated shrub-covered landmark, rising 120 feet above the uninhabited sand dunes south of present-day Market Street. That isolation was soon to end."
Old Posted Sep 5, 2006, 6:03 AM
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You are right about the height - it may not be supertall, but the location makes it VERY significant if one is familiar with San Francisco (which isn't a tall city, but company, dramatic, and just pretty!)

As it is, driving in over the Bay Bridge, it is a shockingly awesome view, and this will add another layer to it.
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