Block 5

San Francisco, California, US

Square Feet: 550,000

The City of San Francisco recently requested design and purchase proposals for one of the remaining properties of the former Redevelopment Agency.  The proceeds of the sale are to help fund the Transbay Terminal now under construction.  A number of properties are being sold sequentially in this manner and Block 5 is one of the most preeminent locations facing onto the bay, near transit and available to support a 550,000 sf. Tower. 

This preliminary design scheme creates a building that accommodates the setback and maximum floor sizes defined by the bulk regulations of the city as well as the new building code requiring more internal core functions for life safety.  This results in relatively small floor plates at the upper part of the tower. 

In addition, the site abuts a north south easement leading to the building to the north, but allows for a new park beyond that to the east. 

With the set backs and floor plate sizes definitely restricted, and the gentle curve of the easement, this design takes its general form from a maximization of floor sizes, and translates the curve upwards into the tower creating a broad face towards the San Francisco Bay beyond. 

The diagonal bracing at the north and south of the building provides an additional efficiency in steel weight and opens the east and west to the views. 

Accomodating these requirements this design would add a new tower to the San Francisco skyline that establishes itself as visually refined, cognizant of the open views and structurally associated with the diagonals of the nearby Bay Bridge.