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New Design for Transbay Tower Includes Funicular, Tweaks to Top

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The new Transbay Tower will be up before the Planning Commission next month, but with two major changes to the design's top and base. First, the top open-air extension of the tower has been altered with a deep vertical slit that runs up each side, backed by perforated metal that will be lit up at night. Insert giggling over phallic shape here. The crown makes it taller than any other building in the city at 1,070 feet (the Transamerica Pyramid is currently the tallest at a measly 853 feet). According to architect Fred Clarke of Pelli Clarke Pelli, the point of the "zen-like" top is to "further lengthen and slim the profile and also create something more distinctly emblematic of the city."

Second, the rooftop park that's planned for the actual Transbay Terminal next door will have stronger connections to the base of the tower. The 5.4-acre park will now connect to the street with a diagonal funicular elevator (imagine the least exciting rollercoaster ever) that will rise through 20 redwood trees. The park will also be accessible through the lobby in the tower, where an express elevator will go to the tower's fifth floor 128-foot-wide deck lined with shops open to the park.

The new designs will be up before the Planning Commission on October 13, and with their approval, the project will be officially clear to start construction in the late summer of 2013.
· Tweaked S.F. tower plans up for approval [SF Gate]
· Past Transbay Tower coverage [Curbed SF archives]