City Park at Transbay Transit Center

Construction of the massive new Transbay Transit Center is almost finished; the six-billion-dollar station is set for completion next year, and one of the premier features of the anticipated complex is City Park, a 5.4-acre, elevated rooftop park that will be one of the most fascinating and functional green spaces in the city. Following in the footsteps of celebrated elevated parks like Paris’s Promenade Plantée and New York’s High Line, City Park is set to bring some organic rooftop splendor to SOMA. Residents of the 181 Fremont luxury condos will have access to Transbay and City Park through a sky bridge, placing them only a few steps from one of the most vibrant transit epicenters on the West Coast and its stunning and dynamic rooftop park.

San Francisco takes pride in being known for its environmental conservation, and City Park project is no exception. The space actually pulls double duty: it will be a fully functioning public park as well as a green roof that can help insulate the interior of the station and provide shade for the ground beneath it. The roof will also help regulate and cool the local climate and improve overall air quality by absorbing heat and chemicals. According to the architects behind the design of Transbay, the entire structure’s energy usage is “projected to be up to 25 percent lower than the 2008 Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards.”

At a quarter mile in length, the park will provide a wealth of spaces for relaxation, in addition to sections dedicated to culinary, entertainment, and family-friendly options. There will be children’s play areas, lush gardens, walking and jogging trails, and an amphitheater that will host concerts and performances.

Given its (literally) elevated status, and the abundance of scenery at hand, City Park is primed to be a popular running and walking destination. The public green spaces will be designated “active” and “quiet;” that way, if relaxing with a book is the goal, you’ll know the appropriate area for minimal disturbance. The children’s play areas will be highly interactive and will encourage exploration of nature. And nature will certainly be thoroughly represented: there will be myriad varieties of plants and floral species, as well as a diverse assortment of trees and vegetation scattered throughout the space—and a wetland marsh. The park will be accessible from ten different entry points and will include a restaurant, a cafe, and a huge space for bike storage. The 1,000-person, open-air amphitheater will anchor the western end of the park and will play a vital role in many of the park’s hosted events, from fairs to concerts, speeches, and performances.

The luxury condos at 181 Fremont—offering not just a beautiful building with dozens of amenities, but also direct access to the Transbay Transit Center and City Park—are set to make their mark on SOMA and all of San Francisco.

Profile of Orlando Diaz-Azcuy

Since the mid-1970s, Orlando Diaz-Azcuy has been a bright, unshakable force in the design world. Born in Cuba in 1940, he fled to the United States in the early 1960s, eventually settling in Washington, DC, and later migrating to California to attend graduate school at Berkeley. It didn’t take long for Diaz-Azcuy to make his mark: at only 36 years of age, he became vice-president of the extremely successful architecture and design firm Gensler, where he was quickly promoted to the role of design principal. This was in 1976, only two years after he became a US citizen, and it was the first major step in Diaz-Azcuy’s meteoric rise.

Several prestigious awards and widespread acclaim over the next few years prompted Diaz-Azcuy to open his own firm, ODADA (Orlando Diaz-Azcuy Design Associates) in 1987. ODADA’s initial focus was on furniture design, but the scope of the company soon broadened beyond furniture to overall interior design. In the subsequent years, ODADA grew into one of the region’s premier design studios, and Diaz-Azcuy solidified a reputation as a master of modern minimalism.

In an interview last year, Diaz-Azcuy defined his style as being “inspired by simplicity and honesty.” Since the early days, he’s had a remarkable ability to craft refined and sophisticated spaces that do more with less. It takes a deft hand to knowwhen to show restraint and when to let things fly, and Diaz-Azcuy always seems to know when to apply the perfect strategy. His work is striking, bold, and truly one of a kind; he creates deep, subtle color palettes that feed off each other to inspire a feeling of cohesion throughout a space. This phenomenal skill and artistry have helped him grow into one of the most prolific interior designers working today.

Diaz-Azcuy’s latest venture is the skyline-defining 181 Fremont luxury condos in SOMA, San Francisco. Diaz-Azcuy designed the amenities floor, as well as the sales office and the magnificent lobby. When speaking about this project, he understandably gets poetic: “To enter the lobby of this building is like walking into a living sculpture.” At a height of 25 feet, punctuated by a luminous gold dome and sheltered by shimmering glass, the lobby may be the most breathtaking space in a building filled to the brim with breathtaking spaces.

Diaz-Azcuy has been beautifying the Bay Area and beyond for over four decades, and 181 Fremont will serve as his final masterpiece before heading into retirement. A career of relentless trendsetting defined by a subtle hand, and a one-of-a-kind aesthetic aptitude has reached its culmination. 181 Fremont is bound to be the new pinnacle of luxury condos in San Francisco, and it seems all but destined to cement Diaz-Azcuy’s legacy as an artist of unparalleled talent.

The New Transbay Transit Center

181 Fremont is currently reaching to meet the Bay Area sky and is primed to redefine luxury condos in San Francisco. The stunning 70-story high-rise will provide views that stretch for miles; expansive, modern residences; and direct access—via an extraordinary sky bridge—to the highly anticipated Transbay Transit Center.

The original Transbay Terminal opened its doors in 1939 and served over 25 million people annually. In the late 1950s, however, changes to the Bay Bridge resulted in the iconic structure transforming into a bus-only station. As San Francisco continued to grow and evolve, a massive plan to rebuild and revitalize the once-proud transit hub was set into motion.

The new $6 billion Transbay Transit project will turn the vibrant SOMA neighborhood into one of the premier transportation hubs in the Bay Area. Referred to as the “Grand Central Station of the West,” the enormous project will include a complete replacement and modernization of the existing terminal, drastically expanding local transportation options. The station will now consist of 11 transit lines that connect at Transbay, including BART, AC Transit, Amtrak, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit, Greyhound, Muni, SamTrans, WestCAT Lynx, and Paratransit, as well as connections for high-speed trains to Los Angeles and Anaheim. When completed, Transbay will serve over 100,000 passengers every day. Residents of the 181 Fremont luxury condos will be only a short stroll away from one of the most robust transit centers on the West Coast.

The goal of the new Transbay Transit Center is to unite the Bay Area more efficiently by connecting and unifying the region’s entire transit system. Designed by the renowned Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, the Transit Center—and its 5.4-acre, elevated green space, City Park—will exist as a logical extension of the surrounding city. The Center’s Grand Hall will be flooded with natural light through the remarkable Light Column at its center, while City Park will be a one-of-a-kind space featuring children’s play areas, gardens and other green spaces, an amphitheater, a restaurant, and a cafe. Moreover, the building’s facade will be as luminous as its interior.

For the exterior of the station, the architects worked hand-in-hand with famed mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, who has collaborated with both Stephen Hawking and M.C. Escher, and in 1974 discovered a complex mathematical pattern, now known as Penrose rhombus tiling, that never repeats itself. The resulting wave-like, white-metal exterior that curves around the building allows light and air to permeate to the interior in a striking and harmonious manner.

$4.75 million has been invested in artwork for the project, which will include permanent public art displays fully integrated into the interior design of the space. A stunning terrazzo floor designed by local artist Julie Chang will welcome travelers to the Grand Hall, while a dynamic LED fixture created by Jenny Holzer will perch above the hall and scroll through sections of prose written by some of the Bay Area’s esteemed wordsmiths. Acclaimed light-wielder James Carpenter designed and crafted a massive expanse of glass pavers that will line the ceiling of Shaw Alley, and sculptor Ned Kahn has designed a fountain for the rooftop park that will be nearly 1,000 feet in length and correspond to the movement of the busses below. Every inch of the space has a logical flow, and each section feeds off another.

Transbay will also bolster the local economy by adding an estimated 27,000 jobs—and help one of the greenest cities on the planet become even greener. Not only will many commuters be able to ditch their vehicles and take public transit to work, but the Transbay structure itself is being constructed with sustainable design features and is on track to be certified LEED Gold by the US Green Building Council.

Upon completion of theTransbay Transit Center, the already highly desirable region south of Market Street will become an even more attractive destination—and 181 Fremont residents will find themselves living in an ultrasophisticated Bay Area landmark with transit lines that beautifully extend in all directions.