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    • 18 November 2019

      Community at Mission Rock Lives Inside and Out

      Our office building in the Mission Rock masterplan in San Francisco breaks down the scale of a large commercial block into a ‘neighborhood’ scale, emphasizing an active ground-level podium, or mesa.

    • The new masterplan at Mission Rock takes on a lofty goal: to nurture a new urban community in an already thriving city. Located on the eastern edge of the city where San Francisco borders the bay, the area is an oddity in San Francisco.

      The flat site in the famously hilly city presented an opportunity to look at the geography as a catalyst for community. Or, put simply: what could the city learn from nature? 

      San Francisco’s steep streets may be a challenge for cyclists and pedestrians, but the extreme geography also creates unique outlooks onto the city from a range of levels, be they from the bottom of Market Street or the top of Twin Peaks. We looked to translate some of that dynamism into our design for Building G, Mission Rock’s Keystone plot.

      The building’s outermost layer – the layer inhabited by ground-level shops and cafes – peels back a few levels up to create a clear distinction between the public and office spaces.  Terraced platforms that coil around the building’s edge provide outdoor outlooks for the offices, close enough to be connected with the activity below but distinct enough that it remains private. The winding terraces create a façade as varied as the city it lives in, as open in space as the city is in mind.

      Even before breaking ground, this community-oriented strategy is working. In early November, Visa announced a lease agreement on Building G – making it their global and North American HQ. Visa’s CEO and Chairman Al Kelly referenced the building’s collaborative workplaces and community emphasis in selecting it as the global company’s new headquarters.

      “It’s important to have a dynamic office environment that encourages collaboration, inspires creativity and reflects our stature as a world-class brand,” said Kelly.

      “We’ve been very thoughtful about this decision and are excited to have two world-class locations for our Bay Area community of employees and partners,” he says.