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Old Posted May 8, 2007, 9:56 PM
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fflint fflint is offline
Triptastic Gen X Snoozer
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 22,207
Mission Bay -- dull by design and still growing
John King's midterm grades

John King
Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Glassworks: Developer: Catellus. Architect: Brand + Allen. Containing just 44 condominiums and 10,000 square feet of retail space, this five-story box is the smallest building in Mission Bay. With a taut skin of ceramic tiles and glass, it's also the best. A-

The Beacon: Developer: Catellus. Architect: Skidmore Owings & Merrill. This building tries hard to make lively urbanism out of 595 condos packed atop a base of shops and offices. But the careful collage of bar-like slabs ends up feeling heavy and static instead. B

Rich Sorro Commons: Developer: Mission Housing Development Corp. Architect: SMWM with Paulete Taggart Architects. Some buildings are designed to be backdrops -- such as these brick-clad, mid-block apartments for 100 low-income families. And that's fine. B

Avalon at Mission Bay: Developer: Avalon Bay. Architect: Fisher-Friedman Associates. This 18-story tower makes a few stabs at distinction, such as a glass fin at the corner on the upper floors. But the drama is undermined by penny-pinching that's as plain as the drab stucco on the outer walls. C+

Avalon at Mission Bay II: Developer: Avalon Bay. Architect: GGLO. You wouldn't think a 17-story tower could be instantly forgettable -- but I defy anyone to look at this nondescript container for 313 apartments, turn away, and then remember what they saw. C-

Mission Creek Senior Community: Developer: Mercy Housing. Architects: Santos Prescott and HKI&T. There's some good energy here, such as the metal bay that slides out along the creek below 140 stucco-clad senior apartments above. The library branch adds to the fun. B+

235 Berry St.: Developer: Signature Properties. Architect: Leddy Maytum Stacy. Overall it's a bit subdued, but it's also sophisticated and clean -- stepping back from a four-story base along the creek to seven stories on Berry Street. The black slate is a sharp accent. B+

255 Berry St.: Developer: Signature Properties. Architect: McLarand Vasquez Emsiek. The same developer as at 235 Berry and the same dictated-by-zoning form. But this hunk of white concrete is ungainly and crude. Nice corner terraces, though. C
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