Potrero Hill Innovation Center

A 21st century light manufacturing building for the emerging economies of San Francisco.

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The developer envisioned a sustainable, future-oriented light industrial space in San Francisco’s historical manufacturing district, Potrero Hill. This project offers a strong civic gesture, social condenser, and innovation platform ideal for high-tech enterprises. Addressing zoning constraints such as setbacks, height limits, FAR restrictions, and the bay window code, the design embraces its industrial lineage while celebrating local communities. As the first purpose-built urban building for advanced R&D designed to meet the International Living Futures Institute’s zero-carbon pilot for speculative developments, the center aims for the highest performance level. The 150,000-square-foot building features multimodal site entry at a recessed lower plinth and an at-grade main lobby. Facades of curtain wall and perforated metal scrim frame downtown views while tempering direct sunlight. Sawtooth forms along the east and west facades reimagine industrial forms, reduce glare, and satisfy the bay window code. Inside, there are six day-lit floors plus a mezzanine, with below-grade parking for bicycles, EVs, and AVs. This project embodies a holistic approach to sustainability and community benefit, setting a new standard for environmental sensitivity while increasing density along a major urban corridor. Every element of the architectural design serves multiple roles in achieving these goals. Façade articulation addresses pragmatic needs, with north-facing glazing and sawtooth bay windows providing dynamic streetscapes, views, and controlled daylighting while meeting code requirements. Limited south-facing glazing mitigates solar heat gain and preserves neighbors’ privacy. Variable heights in massing address the context, forming a rooftop protected from the elevated highway’s noise and visual distractions. The building’s scale and rooftop plantings also shield the neighborhood from highway noise and pollution. Innovative design solutions, including low-cement-content concrete mixes, enabled a 22% reduction in embodied carbon intensity compared to baseline PDR facilities, while still achieving mission-critical performance criteria such as floors with 125 PSF live load capacity.
  • 2023
  • Architect
  • San Francisco, CA
  • 150,000 SF


  • Spear Street Capital

Eldo Team

  • Principal: Josh Shelton
  • Project Manager: Sean Slattery, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
  • Project Architect: Kyle Schleicher
  • Project Architect: John Renner


  • Owner’s Representation: FWD Advisors
  • Local Architect of Record: Form4
  • Landscape Architect: Groundworks
  • Structural Engineer: KPFF
  • MEP Engineer: PAE
  • Civil Engineer: BKF
  • Acoustical Engineer: Salter & Associates
  • Sustainability Consultant: Atelier Ten
  • Waterproofing Consultant: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
  • General Contractor: Webcor


*Jason O’Rear


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