SANF January 2017 : Page 47

A triple-height library serves the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. floors incorporates repurposed wood from bumper rails that previously protected the walls from careening mail carts. Wooden piles from the old Transbay Terminal were salvaged and integrated into the space in the “We wanted the railing around the atrium to be as open and transparent as possible without inducing vertigo,” says architect Gerry Tierney. form of accent walls, reception desks, and conference tables. Clever design never reached the building’s shad-owy core, which was dark and unin-viting. So Perkins + Will made the obvious move: It punched an eight-story atrium through the center of the structure. The effect was trans-formative, flooding the tomblike inte-rior with light and luring employees from all the various agencies into new wood-bordered terraces surrounding the office’s core. “We think of it as the warm, wooden heart inside this very muscular, concrete building,” says TEF principal Bobbie Fisch. Recycled wood was introduced throughout the building to temper the severity of the original concrete. A four-story staircase linking the top strategies across the four floors per-sonalize the space and reinforce the organization’s mission. For exam-ple, an aerial image of the Bay Area measuring 42 by 20 feet provides a striking, four-story backdrop to the central staircase. On each floor, con-ference rooms are distinguished by color-coded topographical maps etched onto glass, referencing the Bay Area’s cities, waterways, and open land. Around the corner from the new COUNTERCLOCKWISE FROM TOP: BLAKE MARVIN (2); DAVID WAKELY glass-fronted entrance, six stories up, a live ginkgo tree rises in the open air above Harrison Street. Over time, the tree will grow and be visible across three floors. After 75 years as an unre-The glowing reception desk is made up of wood recycled from the Transbay Terminal pilings. The faceted silhouette offers a counterpoint to the boxy geometries of the former military warehouse. markable workhorse, 375 Beale Street now showcases a facade befitting the landscape-altering work that’s hap-pening within. “This isn’t simply another tech company—these people are thinking about open space and fair land use and air and water qual-ity,” says Tierney. “What better way to symbolize that than a tree growing out of the side of the building?” January 2017 | San Francisco 47

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