120 Stockton redevelopment features a geometric terra cotta and glass rainscreen
Originally built in 1974 as a Macy’s Mens department store, the 120 Stockton building in San Francisco has undergone an extensive adaptive reuse into a mixed retail and office space. A $59M redevelopment of the 250,000 sq. foot building by architect Gensler and general contractor Plant Construction was completed in 2021.
120 Stockton was a recladding of the building, replacing its exterior wall system of solid limestone with a unitized glass and terra cotta rainscreen. This new curtain wall system – designed and installed by MiTek Inc. – opens up the once windowless structure and allows it to engage more with pedestrian traffic. The local Landmarks and City Councils ordered that terra cotta specifically be used for the updated façade, in order to properly mimic the architectural materials found on buildings in the surrounding area.
“With a Brutalist aesthetic and an aging façade, [120 Stockton] lacked connectivity with the pedestrian-oriented neighborhood. The project strives to enhance the neighborhood’s vitality and creates a new paradigm for modern building repositioning, through the introduction of a new mixed-use program for multi-tenant retail, workplace, and rooftop hospitality. Drawing from its historical context, the use of traditional proportions, rhythm, and materiality results in a timeless design that will become an icon for the city.”
Over the course of 8 months, Boston Valley provided design-assist and fabrication for the 120 Stockton project. The angled geometry and asymmetrical openings of Gensler’s design required the use of 3D modeling to accurately manufacture the glass and terra cotta rainscreen. Our team modified the panel profiles and refined the glaze to meet both the architect’s specifications and the necessary manufacturing demands.
Boston Valley modeled, fabricated, and managed over 125 different profile molds for the project. The lower portion of the façade (wall type 1) is comprised of slip cast panels that gradually change in scale as they cover the wall.
The building’s upper portion (wall type 3) required 9 extruded dies to produce veneer panels for the unitized window openings. Gensler designed the façade to group the angled panels, subtly changing the geometry of the wall face to hide the large-scale units’ connecting joints. The terra cotta material was mounted to aluminum clips using a Keil anchor system, which was then mounted to the unitized curtain wall.
Boston Valley was able to match the architect’s strictly defined glaze specifications, with the intent to complement the historic finishes of neighboring buildings. We constructed full scale mock-ups of the unitized panels to confirm fit, glaze and finish with Gensler prior to installation on-site.