Block 8 begins with an urban gesture to the neighborhood and a desire to open the site to the public. Introducing a mid-block passage between Folsom and Clementina activates the interior open space and creates a paseo for both Block 8 residents and neighbors alike. The paseo lends a sense of discovery, respite and community just steps away from the vehicular traffic of First, Fremont and Folsom.
The Folsom Street side of Block 8 is filled with retail shops and residential lobbies creating active edges as well as porosity around and through the site. The porosity is further enhanced with the paseo. At the podium level, the buildings flanking either side of the paseo gently slope back to enable more light and air and invite Block 8 residents and any neighbors to wander into the open space. On Fremont, the folding planes of the podium building along with the dynamic massing along Folsom Street create a lively streetscape and playful podium.
The open space, or urban living room, is surrounded by retail shops, a resident community room serving the affordable housing population and residential lobbies. These diverse program elements will create a blend of users to activate the space day and night. Pedestrians can pick up a bite to eat, read a book, meet friends, or take a shortcut to pick up their two-wheelers at the bike kitchen. The urban living room may transform into an outdoor cinema under the twinkling Tivoli lights. The paseo might be filled with pop up market stalls to host a farmer’s market or the Clementina pocket park might host a block party.