PCI Design Award: Honorable Mention – San Francisco Towers

San Francisco Towers Retirement Housing
San Francisco Towers Retirement Housing

Wuster, Bernardi & Emmons, Inc. and Clark Pacific win an Honorable Mention for the San Francisco Towers Retirement Housing project. The project was judged on a national basis by an industry panel and published in the Precast Concrete Institute’s Ascent Magazine.

This “life care community” project was designed to blend perfectly with the wooden Victorian structures in the surrounding area.

The exterior architecture of the San Francisco Towers building – an upmarket apartment block for retired professional people – features molded GFRC and precast panels, which were designed to reflect the appearance of the wood structures, typical of many San Francisco buildings.

One of the main challenges of the building was, in fact, this complexity of architectural features and the development of architectural concepts into GFRC panels. The complex GFRC panels use multiple colors and shapes that accent the many bay windows, archways, cornices, recessed window, gable roofs, dormers and balconies with ornamental railings. The skill of Clark Pacific’s engineering team in building a strong working relationship with the architect was fundamental to this development of the architectural concepts and the gaining of approval for the changes necessary for joinery and forming.

In addition, the many complex three-dimensional frames which had to be analyzed for the loads of the numerous different panel shapes, also pushed the company’s practices of framing and support of GFRC to new limits.

All 1,550 GFRC panels used on this massive project were cast at the Clark Pacific manufacturing plant in Fontana, CA over a one year period. Add this to the two years of preparatory engineering work and the subsequent nine months of on-site work, and you begin to form some idea of the scale of this hugely impressive contract.

The building is composed of five towers ranging in height from nine to thirteen stories, housing some 250 residential apartments.

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