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building

Perfection from inception

181 Fremont is the award-winning, most resilient tall condominium building on the West Coast.

181 Fremont’s San Francisco-based team leveraged their international experience to create one of the world’s most innovative and durable structures. See the vision that’s reshaping the San Francisco skyline with all the dynamism of its residents.

01/Foundation

The making of a landmark starts with the foundation

Recognized by the esteemed international Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in 2019, 181 Fremont holds global awards for Best Structural Engineering and Best Geotechnical Engineering. This is in addition to their Awards of Excellence for Best Tall Building (200-299 meters), MEP Engineering Award, Structural Engineering Award, Fire and Risk Award, and Geotechnical Engineering Award. No other US building has received as many commendations.

The caissons at 181 Fremont, the deepest of any condo tower in San Francisco, burrow 260 feet below ground and are anchored into the bedrock. The building rests on forty-two 5 to 6-foot diameter concrete piles socketed into bedrock. Through ingenious engineering, a high-strength steel exoskeleton structural system behaves like a giant shock absorber, and a set of safety elevators are designed to remain operational during any seismic activity. Taken in total, the building’s innovations have earned it a REDi Gold Rating, the latest resilience-based design guidelines that establish a new beyond-code benchmark for seismic construction.

“Whenever I am in search of inspiration, I turn to the water”

Sailing has been a lifelong passion of Jeffrey Heller, the architect who conceived the new luxury condos at 181 Fremont. Based in San Francisco, his work here draws inspiration from the natural rhythms of water — its graceful movement and ability to re-form to its surroundings on a whim. This understanding allowed the building to take shape as if it were a ship setting out from shore. Wind played a large role in developing 181 Fremont’s shape. The reverse chevron, midway up the façade, isn’t merely a design flourish its function is to significantly reduce the wind forces not only on the building, but also on the pedestrians walking below at street level.

02/Sailing Inspiration

03/Looking Glass

With this much vision put into the windows of 181 Fremont, just imagine what can be seen from inside

When you’re building something for the world to see, and from which one can see the entire city, glass becomes a big part of the conversation. The aluminum exoskeleton structure breaks the planes of 181 Fremont’s façade, effectively tilting the glass in distinctive ways. By angling the mullions slightly in against one another, an additional amount of shade is afforded throughout the day as the sun passes over the glass. The reverse chevron structure midway up the building made from the supporting steel beams was inverted in order to maximize the views out to the city, bay, and beyond.

181 Fremont is pre-certified as San Francisco’s first LEED Platinum luxury condominium tower

In an effort to minimize the ecological footprint of 181 Fremont, the Jay Paul Company turned to the people who wrote the book on sustainability. Urban Fabrick is a San Francisco-based firm that actually helped develop the San Francisco Green Building Code a decade ago. Today, they bring a suite of best practices and building materials together for a comprehensive approach to sustainable living. While the existing LEED Platinum standards are ambitious to meet, the Jay Paul Company and Urban Fabrick took 181 Fremont even further. Every finish and material was evaluated to meet—and often exceed—CALGreen requirements.

04/LEED Certification