Genesis Towers, a pair of sculptural high-rises in South San Francisco, are located on a prominent site where Highway 101 curves past San Bruno Mountain. Consisting of a 21-story life sciences laboratory building—the tallest of its kind on the West Coast—and an adjacent 12-story building, the two towers form the largest biotech hub in the Bay Area.
The two towers visually echo the surrounding topography with a curved, veil-like glass curtain wall that extends above the roof as a translucent parapet. The facade is like a shifting canvas, reflecting the changing sky throughout the day. This articulated skin is attuned to the building’s solar orientation: vision glass covers the eastern exposure to maximize views, while shade-generating spandrels and horizontal screens shield the sun-drenched south side.
The interior program includes offices and life science labs, retail and office support spaces, a performance and conference center, and an on-site childcare facility. To complete the campus, plaza-level food options and dining spaces will connect the two towers and draw people outside to enjoy South San Francisco’s temperate weather.
The towers are located on land donated by the San Bruno Mountain Conservancy. With the project’s footprint covering just eight of the site’s 20 acres, the remaining land was donated to the Conservancy in perpetuity. This effort included stabilizing a Blue Monarch butterfly habitat and replanting a slope of San Bruno Mountain that had been damaged during highway construction.