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Octavia Gateway Makes A Welcome Sandwich With First Baptist Church

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Octavia Gateway: architect Stanley Saitowitz's answer to the challenge of developing arguably the most important Central Freeway parcel to give way to new homes. Saitowitz took home the gold prize in a 2007 competition to redevelop the Central Freeway lots, and given recent attention at Curbed SF to envelope A+D's proposal between Fell and Oak, it's time now to take a closer look at the building that's been anointed heir of 4 Octavia Blvd., also known as Parcel V. The lot, at the intersection of Market and Octavia, shall be one of two things welcoming a driver exiting 101. The other, the First Baptist Church, should finally have something to rival its showy strip club signage.

Or, as Natoma Architects says, "the First Baptist Church with its imposing classical rectilinear base and floating dome has become one pylon of a new entrance. Mirroring this mass ... the Octavia Gateway Building completes the gateposts." Of note: several big spaces are "carved" out of the residential building, creating "rear yards" that are visible from every residence. There will be 49 apartments, of which there are two designs: L-shaped 2-bedrooms that hug a "yard void," and studio flats. And then there's that below-grade, apparently women-only spa. Words escape us.

But enough gawking. AkS Development Group is behind the project, which surely owes thanks to other looming projects nearby for the critical mass of glass that's coming our way: Placeworks Development/Chabot Partners' in Hayes Valley, Brian Spiers' at Market and Buchanan, the Thai Corner Express residences, and yet another Stanley Saitowitz design at Market and Page. Five is a trend, as they say.
· Rendering Reveal: Lots of Moving Parts On Octavia Boulevard [Curbed SF]
· Pitchforks Out: Market/Buchanan Building Is a "Monster" [Curbed SF]
· Rendering Reveal: Thai Corner Express Residences [Curbed SF]
· Glass Destiny for Market and Page [Curbed SF]
· Goodbye Parking Lots: Central Freeway Land to Go [Curbed SF]

Natoma Architects

, San Francisco, California