Senior Design Principal Fred Clarke delivered lecture at the 3rd US-China Tall Building Symposium
New Haven, Conn (May 3, 2016) – Fred Clarke, FAIA participated in a day-long symposium on April 22, organized by the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center at Stanford University. His lecture, “The Transformational Effect of Transit Based Urban Development: The Transbay Transit Center and Salesforce Tower,” recounted the history of PCPA’s project and its numerous challenges and innovations, as well as a detailed description of its many architectural and sustainability features, and the state of its current construction. The large scale urban design aspirations of the two projects are combined with the humanist issues of place making and powerful architecture.
The 3rd US-China Tall Buildings Symposium, co-organized by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP and the China International Exchange Committee for Tall Buildings covered topics relevant to the current challenges and opportunities faced by tall building planning, design, and construction, including urban growth, structural resilience, and environmental sustainability. Invited speakers included practicing urban planners, architects and engineers from the U.S. and China, as well as academics from Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, and Tongji University in Shanghai.
Transit based urban development in the U.S. has long been the dream of planners, architects and urban futurists but one which is often stymied by funding, politics and the lack of a sense of common societal purpose. More than 15 years ago, San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center (TTC) was conceived as a multi-model regional transit hub, placed at the center of a future urban neighborhood, containing a mixed-use of functions and public amenities. Years ago, no one could have predicted the power this engine of development and responsible growth would bring to the city because, today, almost all of this neighborhood is under construction or planned to be in the near future. A full year before the TTC begins operation, the Transbay neighborhood is already the site of residential towers, office buildings and the 1.4 million sq. ft. headquarters tower for Salesforce, the world leader in cloud computing.
The Transbay Transit Center will be the hub for regional buses, Caltrain commuter rail and the California High Speed Rail Trains, ultimately serving 45 million passengers per year. It is also a model of sustainability incorporating a Geothermal Heat Exchange System, Water and Energy Conservation, Natural Ventilation, and a Rainwater/Greywater Recycling System. Clad in a perforated aluminum skin, co-designed with the eminent British mathematical physicist Dr. Roger Penrose, the four block long center will have a fully accessible 5.4 acre public park as its roof. The TCC will achieve a LEED Gold Certification Rating.
The Salesforce Tower will connect to the Transbay Transit Center Park via a sky bridge at its 5th floor, bringing park access to its several thousand employees. At 1070 ft., the Tower will be the tallest in San Francisco, its height protected by the Transbay Transit Center District Plan’s zoning guidelines adopted in 2012. Salesforce Tower has been pre-Certified as LEED Platinum.
The Salesforce Tower and the Transbay Transit Center are not only models for urban growth in San Francisco and the Bay Area, but also a built vision for the future of urban development in the U.S.