350 Mission Street

The design of 350 Mission, a LEED® Platinum-certified office building in downtown San Francisco, was driven not only by rigorous environmental performance goals, but also by the desire to stimulate social engagement. In generating the tower's form, structure, and building systems, SOM reexamined standards long taken for granted by developers in order to reinvent a ubiquitous building type.

350 Mission contributes to the life of its immediate surroundings with a transparent 50-foot-tall lobby that opens up to the street. Dubbed an “urban living room,” the corner of the lobby features a dramatic cantilever with 90 feet of glass panels that slide open and closed—adjoining the lobby to the street and blurring the threshold between the public and private realms. The lobby includes a cafe and restaurant, amphitheater seating, and space that can be configured for pop-up events. Overhead, a commissioned work of digital art animates a 70-by-38-foot LED screen that, visible from the street, engages and invites people into the urban living room where they can meet up, socialize, work together, or simply relax.

The urban living room is an experiment in the serendipitous and meaningful interactions that occur in great cities. Its results will influence a growing body of research into contemporary workplaces—the popularity of casual work environments as well as the productivity of creative collision.

The design of 350 Mission's tenant space channels that spirit. The 30-story volume embodies the higher workforce densities and flexible space planning of contemporary offices with a highly innovative system of long span concrete slabs. The structure was also designed according to performance-based principles with every structural element analyzed for seismic behavior and vetted by municipal and independent third-party reviewers.

Besides allowing greater interaction between occupants, the engineering, combined with under-floor air and power distribution, maximizes perimeter glass. Using ultra-thin concrete instead of steel also helps 350 Mission achieve more daylight while increasing overhead space for employees.