Of the city’s newest, tallest building John King writes, “[it’s] as if the creators were so busy being tasteful they forgot that big buildings can be fun."
This week, the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco “quietly opened for business,” and John King, architecture critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, is only very mildly impressed.
“The 1,070-foot shaft, with its tapered form of metal and glass, is a well-tailored behemoth. Immense but understated. Overwhelming yet refined. A study in thick-walled minimalism that seems to hover more than soar.
All of which makes for a nuanced tower, conscientious and self-assured even as it reorients the skyline and redefines San Francisco’s visual image. But there’s also an air of detachment, as if the creators were so busy being tasteful they forgot that big buildings can be fun.”
In its many years under construction, the Salesforce Tower easily surpassed the height of San Francisco's now-second-tallest building, the TransAmerica Pyramid. That building was controversial in its own time but, as King previously wrote, has an iconic quality that is arguably lacking in the city's newest skyscraper.
One of a new crop of very tall buildings on the West Coast, naming rights to the Salesforce Tower—originally known as the Transbay Tower—were bought by a cloud-computing company that is a major employer in San Francisco and agreed to lease 36 of the available 61 floors.
The symbolism of a tech company looming over the entire city is not lost on observers, King has reported. And buildings of increasing heights have long been used to establish dominance in San Francisco, David Streitfeld recently wrote in The New York Times, adding of the Salesforce building, “The tower is not beautiful but is impossible to ignore.”
King reports similarly tempered comments from one of the principle architects, Cesar Pelli, who said of the tower that its was meant to be “very tall, very big, but still polite.’”
Phase 1 Revealed for $20 Billion Chicago Megaproject
Plans for One Central, a proposed megadevelopment that would add 22.3 million square feet of buildings to the city of Chicago, are taking shape.
Boston Introduces 'Maximum Parking Ratios' for Large Buildings
Large buildings with uses of all kinds will be subject to Boston's new "Maximum Parking Ratios."
5 Tips for Planning Safe Post-Pandemic Events
As community events start move off-screen and become available to the public again, here are five ways organizers can ensure public health and safety.
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Rowan University's Department of Geography, Planning, & Sustainability
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.