In a city where it's notoriously difficult to get new buildings approved- everything seems to go through filters and juicers and blenders until the porridge is neither too cold, too warm or too hot- we get the tepid architectural reputation we deserve. Even Rem Koolhaas quit town, unable to build his revolutionary Prada store on Union Square.
The Feds, however, are exempt from local oversight, and so rising unambiguously over Mission Street is the new San Francisco Federal Building by Morphosis. A year late and over budget, it was commissioned by the GSA during the second Clinton Administration, but in just the past few weeks has it begun to take form: immense, gleaming, draped in stainless steel and glass. You see it from a distance, or drive by and wonder what it is.
To which we say pull the car over, get out, and have a look. It's hard to wrap one's head around so complex a project, one so inescapably far from the usual thirty floors over a parking garage.
· Morphosis [morphosis.net]