The New Transbay Transit Center

August 24, 2016

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.