Photo credit: Jason O Rear

‘The Canyon’ unveiled in San Francisco

The innovative housing project aims to transform the city's residential market

26 June 2023

The Canyon, a 23-storey mixed-use building designed by MVRDV, was officially opened on June 21 and the first residents are now moving in.

The project was built as part of a masterplan that transforms a windswept parking lot on San Francisco’s waterfront into a new sustainable neighbourhood, known as Mission Rock, with housing for middle income residents.

With its jagged walls and a publicly accessible “canyon” providing a route through the site, The Canyon is reminiscent of the dramatic geology of California, inspired in part by San Francisco’s topography.

As MVRDV’s first completed project on the West Coast, The Canyon aims to introduce a mixture of local sensitivity and a cosmopolitan approach – in everything from the building’s public space to its mix of functions to the apartments it provides.

Located opposite the Giants’ Oracle Park stadium, The Canyon is one of four buildings that form the first phase of the new Mission Rock Neighbourhood, which is being developed through a partnership of the San Francisco Giants, Tishman Speyer and the Port of San Francisco.

These buildings were designed in a collaborative process in which four internationally renowned design firms – Studio Gang, Henning Larsen, and WorkAC in addition to MVRDV – worked simultaneously, creating designs which worked together while each having a distinct appearance.

The Canyon’s ground floor is topped by two floors of offices, and then 283 apartments. Over a third of these apartments are rented at below market rate, with residents selected via a lottery process, providing 102 homes for middle-income families and thus helping to alleviate San Francisco’s housing crisis.




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