Salesforce Transit Center is a modern paradigm for transit-based urban development

San Francisco, CA, USA
An aeriel view of the 5.4-acre Salesforce Park on top of the Salesforce Transit Center.

In the spirit of Grand Central Terminal and Victoria Station, Salesforce Transit Center is a soaring, light-filled public space that serves as an inspiring front door to San Francisco. Stretching for five blocks on Mission Street, the Transit Center brings together local and regional public transportation systems, and will ultimately connect San Francisco to Los Angeles via the California High-Speed Rail. This transit-based revitalization creates a bustling mixed-use neighborhood, anchored by a lush 5.4-acre public park on the Transit Center’s roof — a central gathering place with native trees and plants, walking trails, performance venues, and expansive green space.
 

Salesforce Transit Center brings together eleven transit networks from the Bay Area, State of California, and the nation. 

With the development of the Transit Center, the Bay Bridge's ramp no longer stifles growth in the neighborhood.

175+
meetings with community groups including economic development, public transit ridership, and members of the LGBTQ+ community

The Transit Center’s architectural character is expressed through gently curving and undulating metal panels that reflect lightness and buoyancy.  

The Transit Center directly links via a sky bridge to Salesforce Tower and Parcel F, with more connections to surrounding buildings underway.

“Salesforce Transit Center represents San Francisco at our best. It reflects our commitment to innovation, transportation, environmental sustainability, and community development. The Transit Center goes far beyond a transportation hub. It's a thriving place of economic opportunity.”  — London Breed, Mayor of San Francisco 

The LED art installation by famed artist Jenny Holzer wraps around the elliptical glass enclosure and adds a striking artistic element to the visual architectural complexity of the transit center.

An uplifting public space full of light and energy 

From the rooftop park to the underground commuter platforms, the Transit Center is open, light-filled, and welcoming. A dramatic central “light column” draws abundant natural daylight down from the roof to all levels of the building. Inside the Grand Hall, expansive views create an intuitive wayfinding experience amid the bustle of shops, cafes, and daily city life of commuters, visitors, and residents. Seventy feet above Grand Hall, Salesforce Transit Center Park is a haven for the urban outdoors in the center of the city. 

100,000
daily commuters projected
“The Transit Center’s graceful cloudlike exterior gives it the appearance of gently floating above the street, evoking a sense of creativity and optimism that is at the core of San Francisco’s iconic spirit.” — Mark R. Shoemaker, AIA 

A welcoming and transparent anchor for the neighborhood, the Transit Center meets the ground gently and energizes the surrounding street life with vibrant pedestrian-focused amenities. 

The building’s pearlescent white exterior wall is perforated with a striking pattern designed by Noble Prize-winning mathematician Sir Roger Penrose.

The pattern softens the building’s large scale, making it feel airy, transparent, and gentle. This design creates a graceful, luminous, and dynamic presence.

The Transit Center’s rooftop park transforms a commuter hub into an urban outdoor oasis

We collaborated closely with PWP Landscape Architecture to develop a picturesque urban park that stretches 5.4 acres across the Transit Center’s roof and invites the public to an inspiring green world of leafy trees and plants, walking trails, grassy picnic areas and benches, beautiful fountains, children’s play areas, and performance and public art venues.

The park is fully accessible via escalator or elevator, and a whimsical gondola offers scenic rides from the corner of Mission and Fremont. A unique urban amenity, the park directly links via sky bridge to Salesforce Tower and Parcel F, with more connections to surrounding buildings underway. Many of San Francisco’s great neighborhoods grew up around public parks — the swiftly developing area anchored by Salesforce Transit Center Park continues this vibrant tradition.

Salesforce Park rises seventy feet above the bustling streets of San Francisco. A half-mile public walking path circles around the rooftop park and is lushly landscaped with thirteen mini-botanical gardens. 

3,000
daily park visitors

Natural ventilation is an essential part of the building's design, allowing it to passively warm and cool itself and process the exhaust of the buses.

The Transit Center's design allows existing streets to flow underneath it, strengthening the city's fabric by reconnecting the Financial District with surrounding neighborhoods. 

More About the Project

Principal Collaborators

  • Architect of Record: Adamson Associates International, Inc.
  • Structural Engineer: Schlaich Bergermann Partner and Thornton Tomasetti
  • MEP: Buro Happold and WSP Group
  • Landscape Architect: PWP Landscape Architecture

Project Information

  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA
  • Client: Transbay Joint Powers Authority
  • Size: 1,500,000 sq. ft. / 139,354 sq. m.
  • Completion: 2018
  • Certification: LEED Gold
  • Firm Role: Design Architect

Awards

  • 2010, Merit Award, AIA New York Chapter
  • 2018, Award of Excellence, AIA Connecticut
  • 2018, Honor Award, AIA New England
  • 2018, Mixed-Use Architecture, Architecture MasterPrize
  • 2018, Transportation Architecture, Architecture MasterPrize
  • 2019 Terrazzo Job of the Year, The National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association
  • 2019, Silver Award in Transportation, World Architecture News Awards
  • 2020, Architecture + Metal Finalists, Architizer A+ Awards
  • 2020, Tranportation + Infrastructure Finalist, Architizer A+ Awards
  • 2020, The American Architecture Award, The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies
  • Principal Project Photography: Jason O'Rear, Tim Griffith, Vittoria Zupicich
  • Videography: Steelblue

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