Tom’s Garden

Growing by the Bay

Pelli Clarke Pelli / Hines: “a sense of lightheartedness”

pelli clarke pelli san francisco transbay terminal design

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority board approved the proposal of the Houston-based Pelli Clark Pelli / Hines group for the design of the new Transbay Terminal. (See photos of the three finalists here.) The tower envisioned in the group’s design soars to 120 stories high. The PCP/H proposal had previously won the favor of by a recommending jury not only on its design merits but committing $350 million to the authority (the second-ranked team only $145 million).

In keeping with the project’s general tone of excess, the jury’s report is available as a 5+ MB pdf download. (Which makes me cranky –why is it that us ordinary bloggers learn to optimize our graphics for the viewer’s convenience but as soon as your start throwing millions of dollars at something even the most fundamental things can’t be handled properly?) Here’s a portion of the jury’s report:

The Transit Center fits beautifully as part of the urban form of San Francisco both from an aerial perspective and at ground level. The Tower works as a marker on the skyline of the Transit Center below. The Transit Center edge is well scaled and retail is visible and inviting. The proposal expands the program of the Transit Center beyond a transportation hub to add value through a wonderful urban “City Park.” As a catalyst for development in itself, the park has the potential to link to new adjacent buildings as redevelopment proceeds, further defining the urban form. Design of the Transit Center structure and rooftop park conveys not only a sense of light heartedness, but also a concern for the environment, wholly in keeping with the San Francisco spirit. “Mission Square” provides a great room or hall as a civic space and grand entry to the Transit Center and City Park. The design also addresses and lessens the “tunnel” effect on First and Fremont streets. Overall, the design is not as much about itself as a single building as it is about its role in the neighborhood and City, providing new usable open space and vibrant street life as the focus of a mixed-use, dense neighborhood.

The photo is from the City Hall presentation. 

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2 Comments

  1. Fits beautifully? Jeeze Louise. I have no words for how appalling I find this.

  2. annexensen

    What an atrocity! It looks ripe for a terrorist plane.

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