Friday, May 20, 2011

One Rincon Hill


Today’s Environment of the Week will be One Rincon Hill, San Francisco,

Name project: One Rincon Hill
Architects:Solomon, Cordwell, Buenz and Associates
Consultants: Urban West Associates
General contractor: Bovis Lend Lease
Cost: $300 Million
Total Height: 495 Ft.
Floor count: 106 Total between two towers.
Date of completion: 2009

One Rincon Hill is a residential complex on the apex of Ricon Hill in San Francisco, California.  
Click on link below to see their site.

The complex consists of two buildings joined together at the base by a row of townhomes. The South Tower and North Tower rise 641 ft (195 m) and 495 ft (151 m) above the corner of Fremont and Harrison streets, respectively.[A][B] The North Tower contains 45 floors, while the South Tower contains 60.[A][B][10] However, because of the sloped nature of the Rincon Hill site, the South Tower's lobby floor or the First Street entrance is located on the sixth floor, and the first floor is five levels underground from the First Street entrance.[18] The skyscraper is one of the most significant additions to the San Francisco skyline in over 30 years.[3][19] It is also one of the tallest all-residential towers west of the Mississippi River, towering 697 feet (212 m) above San Francisco Bay.[12][20][21]

One Rincon Hill South Tower towering over the San Francisco Bay
Both the north tower and the south tower of the Rincon Hill complex bear a resemblance to The Heritage at Millennium Park in Chicago, a building of a similar height to the south tower designed also by Solomon, Cordwell, Buenz and Associates.[22] The architectural style for both buildings of the Rincon Hill complex are late-modernist.[3][10] As for the South Tower, the three sides of the building facing southeast, northeast, and northwest consists of a linear glass curtainwall.[3][19] The side that faces southwest is curved and cladd in white aluminum panels and glass in a pattern resembling Sharper Image's Ionic Breeze, leading to the nickname "Ionic Breeze Tower".[23] The North Tower has a similar design, except it is shorter and the curved aluminum and glass side faces northeast.[10][19] Both skyscrapers of the Rincon Hill project contain an oval-shaped crown housing mechanical equipment.[9][19][24] 

The crown of the South Tower contains a band of 25 LED floodlights that remain lit all night. Each LED light consumes little energy and has a lifetime of 40,000 hours. These lights are used to signal the weather, just like the lights on the John Hancock Tower in Boston. The crown glows red if warmer weather is in the forecast. A blue crown signifies that cold weather is expected soon. Green means that there is at least a 50 percent chance of rain. Amber indicates that the weather will remain unchanged. This is the San Francisco Bay Area's first weather beacon. The crown began lighting up on December 8, 2008.[25] 

Earthquake engineering

In order to support the 60 story condo tower, One Rincon Hill South Tower will have a 12 foot (4 m) thick massive foundation embedded deep into serpentine rock. Although some engineers view serpentine rock with suspicion, there are massive structures, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, that have foundations on rock that is largely serpentine.[26] Rising out of the foundation are the concrete core and large, tall columns of steel-reinforced concrete called outriggers. The core is attached to large outrigger columns by steel-buckling restrained braces that are designed to transfer building loads in an earthquake. These V-shaped restraining braces are said to act like a shock-absorber during earthquakes. The braces are also encased in a concrete and steel casing in order to prevent the braces from buckling and losing their strength. Many of these engineering technologies used in One Rincon Hill South Tower are new to the United States.[26][27]

Water tanks

At the top of the building is a large tank, capable of holding up to 50,000 gallons (189,250 litres) of water, which will weigh 416,500 pounds (185,440 kg).[21][27] A similar 50,000 gallon (189,250 liter) tank is located in the basement for firefighting purposes.[21] There are two liquid damper screens in each tank to control the flow of the water in order to counter the sway from the powerful Pacific winds, which can sometimes reach hurricane-force.[26]

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