twisty tower 1

Photo: Studio Gang

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has approved a proposal to raise Bay Tower, dubbed Twisty Tower by local publications, from 300 feet to 400 feet, reports San Francisco Business Times. Bay Tower will sit on the northwest corner of Folsom Street and Spear Street as a component of the larger Transbay Block, which before had only been zoned for 300 feet in height.

The brains behind the expansion and overall design of the rippled building is Chicago architect Jeanne Gang. It’s inspired by her reinterpretation of San Francisco’s quintessential bay windows. She also designed The Infinity skyscraper at 160 Folsom Street, completed in 2008, as well as the iconic Aqua Tower in Chicago, which is over 850 feet tall. More recently, Gang won 2016’s Architect of the Year award from The Architectural Review.

The additional nine stories and 73 condos will increase the number of below market rate units in the Block 1 development from 112 to 156 in total.

twisty tower 2-compressed

Photo: Studio Gang

Opposition to the proposed skyscraper came in the form of former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos, who rallied the public against another “wall on the waterfront.” Agnos said, “[Bay Tower] would overwhelm the waterfront and diminish the pedestrian experience, just as the old double-decker Embarcadero Freeway previously did for decades until it was finally removed.”

But with the city in a housing crisis and in dire need of residential units, isn’t it imperative to create more housing for the middle class? The San Francisco Board of Supervisors seems to agree.

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