181 Fremont has been engineered
to be the most resilient tall
condominium building on the West Coast.

181 Fremont’s San Francisco-based team leveraged their international experience to create one of the world’s most innovative and durable structures. See the vision that’s reshaping the San Francisco skyline with all the dynamism of its residents.


181 Fremont ArchitectureView Gallery



The making of a landmark starts with the foundation

The caissons at 181 Fremont, the deepest of any condominium tower in San Francisco, burrow 260 feet below ground and are anchored into the bedrock. A five-story concrete basement is supported with 5 to 6 foot diameter concrete piles socketed into bedrock, controlling against total and differential settlement within the surrounding soil layers. Through ingenious engineering, the building’s foundation is able to “lift” itself slightly to create additional space for movement, and a set of safety elevators are designed to remain operational during any seismic activity.

The structural engineers at Arup had to think outside of the box, literally. They devised an ingenious high-strength steel exoskeleton structural system that behaves like a giant shock absorber whenever there is seismic activity underfoot. This design also allows for column-free interior floor plans, maximizing living space and minimizing sightline obstructions for the best views imaginable.

A series of viscous dampers allow for a completely elastic superstructure, with plumbing and electrical lines given enough flexibility to move without disruption. Taken in total, the building’s innovations have earned it a REDi Gold Rating, the latest resilience-based design guidelines that establish a new beyond-code benchmark for seismic construction.

San Francisco Luxury Condominium TowerView Gallery


Sail away

“Whenever I am in search of inspiration, I turn to the water”

—Jeffrey Heller, Architect

Sailing has been a lifelong passion of Jeffrey Heller, the architect who conceived the new luxury condominiums at 181 Fremont. Based in San Francisco, his work here draws inspiration from the natural rhythms of water — its graceful movement and ability to re-form to its surroundings on a whim. This understanding allowed the building to take shape as if it were a ship setting out from shore. Flowing, swooping lines work with the wind rather than against it, with an exoskeleton support structure resembling dozens of ship masts braced together.

Wind played a large role in developing 181 Fremont’s shape. The reverse chevron midway up the façade isn’t merely a design flourish. Its function is to significantly reduce the wind forces not only on the building, but also on the pedestrians walking below at street level.

181 Fremont San Francisco Luxury CondosView Gallery


Looking glass

With this much vision put into the windows of 181 Fremont, just imagine what can be seen from inside

When you’re building something for the world to see, and from which one can see the entire city, glass becomes a big part of the conversation. The aluminum exoskeleton structure breaks the planes of 181 Fremont’s façade, effectively tilting the glass in distinctive ways.

By angling the mullions slightly in against one another, an additional amount of shade is afforded throughout the day as the sun passes over the glass. The sawtooth glass structure midway up the building made from the supporting steel beams was inverted in order to maximize the views out to the city, bay, and beyond.

181 Fremont Condominium PicturesView Gallery


Positive impact

181 Fremont is precertified as San Francisco’s first LEED Platinum luxury condominium tower

In an effort to minimize the ecological footprint of 181 Fremont, the Jay Paul Company turned to the people who wrote the book on sustainability. Urban Fabrick is a San Francisco-based firm that actually helped develop the San Francisco Green Building Code a decade ago. Today, they bring a suite of best practices and building materials together for a comprehensive approach to sustainable living. While the existing LEED Platinum standards are ambitious to meet, the Jay Paul Company and Urban Fabrick took 181 Fremont even further. Every finish and material was evaluated to meet—and often exceed—CALGreen requirements.

The team traveled to Australia in order to learn about the latest water preservation and recycling techniques. Chief among the innovations being introduced here is a membrane bioreactor in the building, which will actively save 1.3 million gallons of water per year.