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[Correction Appended] CurbedWire: Pelli Clarke Pelli Transbay Design Officially Approved

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TRANSBAY TERMINAL—This just in on the CurbedWire: As if we were feeling doubtful, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) Board of Directors has unanimously approved an agreement with Pelli Clarke Pelli to design the Transbay Transit Center [Ed note: correction appended (see below)]. Quoth the Gav: “San Francisco is both lucky and deserving to have the skill and grace that the firm of Pelli Clarke Pelli will bring to the design of the West Coast’s most significant transit facility" ... “Through this forward thinking project, we can inspire change to an environmentally sustainable model of living while also enhancing economic growth in our City, region and State.” And the clouds part, beaming him up to heaven ... Now, let's revisit those renderings, shall we? [CurbedWire]

CORRECTION: Our initial post stated that the TJPA had approved Pelli Clarke Pelli's design for the Transbay Terminal Center when, in fact, the TJPA has only awarded Pelli Clarke Pelli the contract to design the center— the tower itself is, in fact, a separate project; the renderings above imply a false equation between the two. In a note uncannily similar to a recent comment posted on the site— government officials can have avatars, too!— the Planning Department asked us to "simmer down" on the matter and to make the correction. Done. Please take the jump for the full press release, and accept our apology for any confusion we may have caused anyone. Stay tuned— now that Pelli Clarke Pelli won this contract, who knows who might design the tower? The possibilities, they are endless.


Transbay Joint Powers Authority Board Awards Contract to Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects for Design of Grand Central of the West

Pelli’s City Park Design Includes 5.4-Acre Living Rooftop Park, Sustainable Design

San Francisco, Calif. (May 15, 2008) – The Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) Board of Directors today unanimously approved a professional services agreement with Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects to design the new landmark Transbay Transit Center in downtown San Francisco.

“San Francisco is both lucky and deserving to have the skill and grace that the firm of Pelli Clarke Pelli will bring to the design of the West Coast’s most significant transit facility,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. “Through this forward thinking project, we can inspire change to an environmentally sustainable model of living while also enhancing economic growth in our City, region and State.”

The TJPA Board unanimously voted in September to enter into exclusive negotiations with the Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (PCPA) and developer Hines team following the TJPA’s eight month long international Design and Development Competition to select the lead architect for the Transit Center and Tower and developer for the Tower. PCPA’s “City Park” design was unanimously recommended by the Design and Development Jury, an expert panel of design, planning, engineering, transit and real estate development professionals.

“I could not be more excited about the Transbay Transit Center Project,” said architect Cesar Pelli. “It means so much to the firm and to me personally to be able to design a wonderful, efficient building that will contribute much to the City of San Francisco.”

The TJPA launched the competition to select an outstanding, functional and economically viable design that is worthy of its position as the focus of bus and rail transit for San Francisco, the Bay Area and the State of California and the centerpiece of the Transbay Redevelopment Area.

“We are very proud of the world-class design team that will make our vision for the Transit Center a reality,” said TJPA Executive Director Maria Ayerdi-Kaplan. “Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects has presented us with a beautiful, functional design for a Transit Center that will be an asset for the community and the State of California. We are looking forward to working with Cesar Pelli and his team.”

The contract’s scope includes the complete design of the Transit Center building and bus ramps connecting to the Bay Bridge, which will be constructed in two phases. The first phase includes the new Transit Center, the bus ramps connecting the building to the west approach of the Bay Bridge and bus storage facilities. The second phase of the project includes the construction of the below-grade train platform and mezzanine levels of the new Transit Center. The contract value is $105 million.

“We are pleased to be able to bring such a talented firm and functional design to our program,” said Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr., TJPA Board Chairman. “This action today will ensure that this place will not only be the most significant transit facility in the region, but that it will also create a significant place that the public will enjoy for generations to come.”

At the heart of PCPA’s “City Park” is a 5.4-acre public park that will sit atop the new Transit Center. In addition to providing much-needed green space in the emerging South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood, the park will double as a “green roof” for the transit facility, one of the many environmentally-friendly building features. The design proposal also includes “Mission Square,” a grand public plaza covered by a billowing glass-and-steel canopy, and public art space.

The new Transbay Transit Center at First and Mission streets will serve as a Grand Central of the West and centralize the region’s transportation network by accommodating nine transportation systems under one roof, including: AC Transit, Caltrain, MUNI, Golden Gate Transit, SamTrans, Greyhound, BART, WestCAT and future California High-Speed Rail. The area surrounding the Transit Center will be redeveloped to include housing, retail, and an adjacent tower poised to redefine the City’s skyline.
Groundbreaking on the Temporary Terminal will begin in November 2008. Construction of the new Transit Center will begin in 2010 and be completed in 2014.

Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA):

The TJPA consists of a historic collaboration of Bay Area government and transportation agencies committed to replacing the current Transbay Terminal in San Francisco with the new Transbay Transit Center to improve the transportation needs for the entire Bay Area region and the State of California. The TJPA is managed by TJPA Staff and is overseen by a five member Board of Directors. The TJPA Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from the City and County of San Francisco, including the SF Municipal Railway (MUNI), the Office of the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors; the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit); and the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board-Caltrain, composed of the City and County of San Francisco, the San Mateo County Transit District, and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (PCPA)

Established in 1977, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (PCPA) has designed over 80 million square feet of urban, mixed-use projects for prestigious government, private, and corporate clients worldwide. The firm’s extensive portfolio includes four of the world’s largest private developments: Canary Wharf in London, World Financial Center in New York, International Finance Centre in Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur City Center in Malaysia and such significant transportation projects as Reagan National Airport in Washington DC, Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Canary Wharf Docklands Light Railway Station in London, and Richardson International Airport in Winnipeg. PCPA is committed to being a leader in environmentally responsible design.

Beginning in 1994 with the design of the LEED EB Silver Owens Corning Headquarters developed with Hines, PCPA has designed many significant LEED rated projects, including the Verdesian, the first LEED Platinum residential high-rise in the United States. PCPA has been honored with numerous awards, including the AIA’s two most prestigious awards: the 1989 Firm Award and the 1995 Gold Medal for Cesar Pelli. In 2004, the firm was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the design of the Petronas Towers.

For more information about the project, please visit