Rendering courtesy of IIDA

IIDA Tells the Story of San Francisco’s Dogpatch Neighborhood Redevelopment

Nov. 28, 2023
Find out how this project is set to rise from its industrial roots to a future of innovation and sustainability.

Nestled in the heart of San Francisco, the Dogpatch neighborhood is a living tapestry of rich history, showcasing a remarkable journey from its beginnings as a Native American hunting ground to a hub of innovation and sustainable living. The area has transformed dramatically, evolving through industrialization in the mid-1850s and weathering challenges post-World War II to become a gentrified residential area with a thriving arts district.

Below we explore Dogpatch's vibrant past and present as we spotlight the Power Station project—a beacon of the neighborhood's relentless creativity and commitment to sustainable craftsmanship. This initiative, steered by visionary minds and globally renowned architecture and design teams, promises to foster a community redefining urban living through lenses of well-being, creativity and ecological harmony, blending the historic with the futuristic.

The History

Located in the city’s eastern flank, Dogpatch has a rich heritage tracing back to its inception as part of Potrero Nuevo, initially a Native American hunting ground and later a grazing land established by Spanish missionaries in the late 1700s. This neighborhood blossomed during the mid-1850s industrialization era, attracting a wave of European immigrant workers. Despite numerous challenges, including post-World War II decline and the 1960s construction of Interstate 280, Dogpatch preserved its historic architecture, in part thanks to its resilience during the 1906 earthquake. The 1990s marked a significant turn as gentrification took hold, spurred further by modern developments such as Oracle Park and the rise of Mission Bay as a healthcare nucleus. Acknowledged as a historic district in 2002, it has seen a 200% population spike from 2010 to 2020, mirroring its vibrant evolution and flourishing arts scene, highlighted by the 2016 launch of the Minnesota Street Project. Today, Dogpatch features landmarks like Mariposa Street and the Power Station.

The Future

The Power Station is ready for a comeback in the shape of a vibrant, multi-purpose waterfront development focused on health, wellness and fitness. This new piece of the Dogpatch puzzle features biking and walking paths and multi-use recreation fields adaptable to a myriad of activities and age groups. The Power Station is intricately linked to the water, forming a symbiotic relationship between the streetscape, buildings and the expansive Bay area, a relationship further emphasized through a natural extension to the Golden Gate Bridge via the Bay Trail. Local and sustainable craftsmanship is set to become a way of life in Dogpatch where community members are surrounded by one-of-a-kind retailers, artisanal food purveyors, and hubs of health and wellness, all brought to life amidst sustainably designed permeable buildings that merge seamlessly with the surrounding greenspaces, all while offering easy access to a variety of public transportation choices. This creates an extensive network of urban streets bustling round the clock.

The Behind-the-Scenes

The Power Station project stands at the forefront of Dogpatch's transformative journey; the vision being brought to life by a coalition of globally renowned and locally grounded teams, such as Foster + Partners and Herzog & de Meuron. Lush green spaces will be curated by CMG and Plural, aiming to foster ecological and community harmony. Sidewalk Labs adds a technological edge, ensuring sustainable solutions tailored to the site. Anchored in Associate Capital's community-centric vision, the initiative embraces collaboration with local organizations to create a hub addressing diverse community needs. 

Herzog & de Meuron has reimagined Station A (built in 1901) to be an unparalleled adaptive reuse project, offering a life sciences and office space that is both expansive and modern. This redevelopment merges seamlessly with the sustainably constructed Block 12, a low-rise structure that promises future-ready office and lab spaces, all encapsulated under one living roof and offering breathtaking 360° views that include a picturesque waterfront. Block 12 harmonizes perfectly with Block 11, another Herzog & de Meuron project, infused with the vibrant energy emanating from the adjacent Power Station Park. Block 11 not only offers exclusive outdoor spaces but also modern design that meets the highest standards of environmental and technical specifications, thereby presenting a life sciences and office opportunity that is both innovative and grounded in sustainable principles. Together, these structures offer up to 46,000 square foot floor plates and compelling collaboration spaces that offer a glimpse into the next frontier of life sciences and office environments.

The Next Steps

As Dogpatch stands on the brink of a transformative era, it is pivotal to recognize its journey from a pastoral land to a modern, sustainable urban haven. The Power Station project, steered by a world-renowned team, aims to blend Dogpatch's rich historical fabric with futuristic design, rejuvenating not just the space but the community’s spirit. This endeavor, deeply rooted in well-being, creativity, and ecological harmony, promises a neighborhood that celebrates daily life through sustainable living and artistic exploration. The redevelopment will foster a vibrant, inclusive community harmoniously connected to its environment and past, and paving the way for a bright, potential-filled future.

Sponsored Recommendations

Design Competition to Open in April for Helsinki's New Museum of Architecture and Design

Helsinki City Council will provide a capital donation of $64.9 million to establish this national museum.

Durkan and NEWH DSCVR Student Design Competition Returns

Design students are crafting the future of hospitality flooring with the DSCVR Student Design Competition. Read on to see how.

IIDA NY To Host Inaugural Career Fair

IIDA NY, Leading NYC-Based Architecture & Design Firms to Meet with Students, Emerging Professionals

SMPS-NY to Host 'The Power of Public Relations & Digital Marketing' Panel Next Month

i+s Editor in Chief AnnMarie Martin will join this SMPS-NY chat on how both traditional and digital storytelling can be harnessed to generate brand exposure.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of I+S Design, create an account today!