181 Fremont Topping Out

January 10, 2017

Already a head-turning style icon in San Francisco, 181 Fremont has just reached a new milestone: the luxury tower has officially topped out at more than 800 feet, making it the tallest (and most resilient) mixed-use tower on the West Coast. An impressive mix of architecture, engineering, innovation, and peerless craftsmanship has placed this one-of-a-kind structure as the newest star in San Francisco’s sky.

181 Fremont’s design is innovative in ways both obvious and invisible. Passersby, and even its residents, probably won’t notice the fact that its construction caissons, which were designed by the engineering firm Arup, are the deepest ever drilled in San Francisco, extending over 260 feet into the bedrock. This means that the state-of-the-art structure has unparalleled stability, and Arup has awarded it a REDi™ Gold rating for seismic-resistant construction. On top of that, 181 Fremont is San Francisco’s first precertified LEED Platinum mixed-use building. Its water recycling system captures both graywater and rainwater for reuse, and its glass curtain wall system maximizes natural light, giving eco-conscious residents the option to dial back their use of electricity.

For all its structural marvels, 181 Fremont is also an aesthetic showstopper, both inside and out. The 55 San Francisco luxury condominiums begin on the 17th floor, and residents can enjoy sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay, the Bay Bridge, the Transamerica Pyramid, the Sutro Tower, Mount Tam, and beyond. Each residence has an individually designed floor plan, with interiors by the acclaimed designer Orlando Diaz-Azcuy. Three-bedroom condos range from 1,200 square feet to more than 2,500 square feet, while the full-floor penthouse occupies nearly 7,000 square feet. On the 52nd floor, the Sky Lounge houses stellar amenities, including a fitness center and yoga studio, library, lounge spaces, and a bar and catering kitchen. The building is also directly connected to the city itself: from the private seventh-floor skybridge, it offers access to the new Transbay Transit Center and the new City Park, a unique perk among luxury developments in San Francisco.

181 Fremont’s height extends more than 800 feet into the sky, thanks, in part, to a spire, and completion of this visually striking structural element represented the final stage in “topping off.” The spire was signed by every architect, engineer, developer, and designer involved with the project—and some of the future owners as well. And it is practical, too: it houses the building’s Electronically Activated Streamer Emission (EASE) system, which will dissipate lightning strikes through the structure’s grounding system, thereby reducing the chance of electrical outages during storms. Steady, stately, and grounded, the engineering feats that have made 181 Fremont a magnificent and resilient structure are mirrored by the feats of design that give it beauty and elegance. Its topping off is a cause for celebration, and its silhouette is a new jewel in the San Francisco skyline.