The San Francisco skyline will soon feature the tallest skyscraper on the West Coast, as the Transbay Tower was just approved by the San Francisco Planning Commission! Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, the 1,070 foot, sixty-one story Transbay Tower will form the pinnacle of the Transbay Transit Center. The center is to serve as a downtown hub for Caltrain and its forthcoming high-speed rail network. A lower portion of the transit center will be topped with an elevated green space, which will be called City Park, while the area surrounding First and Mission Street will undergo significant redevelopment.

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Having received final approval by SF’s Planning Commission, the new tower is set to form an integral part of a plan to enliven the area at First and Mission Streets. The surrounding area will be redeveloped to include not only the tower, but the train station, public plaza, shopping center and public art.

The metal and glass tower has undergone some design changes since it was first proposed in 2007, including the addition of a curved mesh top, with a metal mesh that thickens as the skin extends down the tower to the ground. This mesh skin will also help divert rainwater, as well as make the structure safer for birds flying at the high of the building’s crown.

Adding a new tower to San Francisco’s skyline has of course been met with mixed reviews, but Planning Commission President, Rodney Fong, feels that the gently tapered metal and glass structure will harmonize with the city’s skyline, and not overshadow it.

The Planning Commission will investigate the idea of installing an observation deck atop the tower once the plan advances to the next stage.

+ Pelli Clarke Pelli

Via SF Examiner