The last time that we checked in on the under-construction micro-units at the Panoramic, the 11-story building taking shape in SoMa, they were just starting to come together. In December, as you may recall, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music leased the building's top five floors. The California College of Arts had already taken out the bottom six, meaning that all of the building's 160 units will go to students. Panoramic developer Patrick Kennedy, who doesn't usually like to hear micro-apartments compared to dorm rooms, has ended up seeing both of his micro-unit projects in San Francisco—38 Harriet as well as the Panoramic—become student housing. "I do wish we could throw these in the marketplace and see what the reaction is in the renting public at large," says Kennedy, "but I don't think there's something particularly different about a grad student than there is from a newly hired engineer at Twitter."
The building was designed by Dwellwell (now Workshop1) with Kwan Henmi. Right now, the second floor of the Panoramic is very close to being finished, with plumbing fixtures going in and progress creeping up floor by floor. Everything is still on track for completing by June 23, meaning that the units will be ready for students to move in for the fall semester. When they do, they will have access to many of the city's art hotspots, including the San Francisco Symphony, the opera, the ballet, and SFJAZZ Center.
The apartments will average 354 square feet, with the typical studio coming in at just 274 square feet (though there will also be shared suites of up to 625 square feet). The units come stocked with Murphy beds, flat-screen TVs, and kitchens with dishwashers, fridges, and two-burner ministoves. (An early prototype unit of just 178 square feet came equipped with just one burner in a drawer, which didn't work out so well.) Although the finishing touches have yet to be put on the nearly complete units, their functionality is already apparent in their compact layouts.
Though the building's initial inhabitants will all be students, Kennedy says he doesn't think micro-living will remain a predominantly student living arrangement for long, citing the compact units at the Dolmen Property Group's Lofts at 7 and Build Inc.'s proposed coliving complex in western SoMa. "It's not just going to be a dorm thing or a student housing thing," he says. "I think the experience of high-density housing like this will be similar whether they're students or non-students. Over time, people will see that the design works for any type of household that can function in smaller spaces."
—With reporting from Lamar Anderson
· A Sneak Peek at the Panoramic's Partially Finished Micro-Units [Curbed SF]
· The Micro-Units at the Panoramic Will Make a Very Nice Dorm [Curbed SF]
· Best Dorm Room Ever! A Peek Inside San Francisco's New Tiny Apartments [Architizer]
· Test-Driving a 178-Square-Foot Micro-Unit, for Science [Curbed SF]
· Pricing Released for Lofts at Seven, Plus New Renderings [Curbed SF]
· Coliving Gains Momentum in SoMa with 1532 Harrison Proposal [Curbed SF]