101 Second Street

This 26-story office tower in San Francisco’s South of Market district responds to the modest scale and local characteristics of its neighborhood. The building achieves a slender profile by breaking the overall mass into a series of vertical volumes, each with discrete functional and structural roles.

Vertical circulation and building services are housed in the limestone-clad central shaft, which has punched windows and a glass veil at the top enclosing the mechanical equipment. This core provides lateral seismic and wind bracing for the adjacent glass and steel volumes, which contain the office space; their minimal frames maximize glazed areas to give tenants ample city views.

At ground level, a glass art pavilion serves as the building entry, as well as a naturally lit atrium. The space blurs the boundaries between public and private, bringing them together in a protected, four-season urban room. At night, the atrium and the crown are illuminated, calling attention to the building’s presence on both the street and skyline.