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Rendering Revelation: Transbay Transit Center & Funicular Extravaganza

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Courtesy of a Transbay publicity tour yesterday, more renderporn of the Transbay Transit Center shows in more detail in the immediate surroundings of the 1,500-foot-long building, one of whose principal concerns is to not be the dank, enclosed transit station most of us are used to. To that end, large skylights called "light columns" puncture the building from the 5.4-acre urban park on the roof, and penetrate deep into the building— underpasses, notes the architect, also get the airiness treatment. LEED Gold certification is a distinct possibility for the building, whose "urban room" will be similar in scale to Grand Central Station's. The building will almost entirely be naturally ventilated, and there's even talk of tapping into geothermal energy. The park, designed by landscape architect Peter Walker, may also feature a water thing running its length, with fountains spurting whenever a bus passes by underneath. There's room for sky bridges to the park from surrounding buildings, and there'll be a funicular (see: tourist attraction) to take people from ground level to the top. Construction's slated to start in 2010. Until then, do try to keep the drool inside the mouth.

· Fresh Transbay Transit Center Renderings Revealed! [Curbed SF]