Structure Type: built works - public buildings

Designers: Arup, Ove, and Partners (firm); Haag, Richard, Associates, Incorporated, Site Planners, Landscape Architects (firm); Johnson, Johnson and Roy (JJR) / Incorporated, Landscape Architects (firm); Morphosis Architects, Incorporated (firm); Ove Arup (structural engineer); Tim Christ (architect); Richard Haag (landscape architect); Thomas M. Mayne (architect); Brandon Welling (architect)

Dates: constructed 2003-2007

18 stories, total floor area: 605,000 sq. ft.

90 7th Street
South of Market (SoMA District), San Francisco, CA 94103

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Occupying 2.1 acres near the Civic Center, the San Francisco Federal Building was designed to house offices of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Social Security Administration, Department of State, Department of Labor, and the Department of Agriculture. The building also contained a community center/meeting room, daycare center, fitness club, public sky lobby, public plaza and a restaurant. Designed by the Los Angeles architectural firm, Morphosis, the 18-story office tower opened in 2007.

Building History

Los Angeles architect Thom Mayne (b. 1944) designed a controversial Federal Office Building in San Francisco, CA, for a variety of reasons; many thought its 18-story scale out of place as was its daring, tilted glass facades. A number of San Franciscans dismissed it as a work of a Los Angeleno, a profound insult for many in "The City." When interviewed by Matt Smith of the SF Weekly, San Francisco architect David Baker said of Mayne's tower: "Mayne has 'completely violated all the city planning rules, and pissed the planners off, and he can do it because it's the federal government,' Baker says. 'And it's one of the most wonderful buildings in San Francisco. It's an incredibly iconic building. ... It's totally out of character.' He cautions, however, that the building succeeds because it's distinctive when compared to its more approachable surroundings. 'If everybody's a bad boy, you've got L.A. And L.A. pretty much sucks.'"

For Morphosis, the Lead Design Architect, Thom Mayne was the Design Principal; he worked with Tim Christ, who served as the Project Manager, collaborating with Brandon Welling, Project Architect. They worked in concert with the Executive Architect, SmithGroup, Carl Roehling, Project Executive, Carl Christianson, Principal-in-Charge, William Loftus, Project Manager, and Jon Gherga, Project Architect. The architects worked with the engineering consultants, Arup, on the mechanical, electrictal and plumbing, and Horton Lees Brogden, lighting consultants. The building contractors were Dick Corporation and the Morganti Group.

Building Notes

This tower, sheathed in walls of glass, was designed to be 60 feet wide and 234 feet high; the building also had a four-story annex and a large public plaza.

In 2020, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, (born 1940), maintained her San Francisco office in Room #2800 of the San Francisco Federal Building #3.

PCAD id: 4800

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