San Francisco's Rincon Hill neighborhood has so far failed to achieve the prominence of the nearby neighborhoods of Nob Hill or Telegraph Hill. But city leaders are hoping that Urban West Associates' newest residential project, One Rincon Hill, will bring some much desired attention to the area, which is located in the South of Market district just south of San Francisco's downtown financial district.

“The city really wanted an icon to identify Rincon Hill because they wanted it to take on the same importance of other hills,” says Mike Kriozere, president of San Diego-based Urban West Associates.

One Rincon Hill, a development consisting of two towers ringed with townhomes, will be among the first sights for those crossing the Bay Bridge into the city. It is situated on the corner of First Street and Harrison Street, rising on the site of the former Bank of America clock tower building.

The first tower, measuring 605 feet with 55 stories, will be the tallest tower east of the Mississippi River, according to Kriozere. It is currently under construction, and when it's completed later this year, the tower will feature 376 condo units. Construction of the second tower has not yet begun.

Designed by Chicago-based Solomon Cordwell Buenz, One Rincon Hill's tallest tower has a very narrow footprint of only 9,800 square feet. “The building is very tall and very slim, which allows a lot of view points around the building and doesn't clog the skyline,” Kriozere says, adding that the building's height is maximized by the use of one continuous shape and one type of material—glass curtain wall.

“From the beginning, it was important that the architecture be very simple and strong so it could be seen from long distances and not lose its appeal,” Kriozere says. “One Rincon Hill will be the signature building in the area and will reestablish Rincon Hill as a destination.”

One Rincon Hill

Location: San Francisco
Height: 605 feet
Stories: 55 stories
Developer: Urban West Associates
Architect: Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Notable: The building is built on a rocky hill, making it one of the safest points in the city from a seismic standpoint. The structural design incorporates special beams that act like automobile shock absorbers and allow the building to move during an earthquake.

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