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After Opening Its Mouth, Snøhetta's Tower Can't Be Silenced

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Snøhetta and Solomon Cordwell Buenz's preliminary rendering for One Van Ness—which will be rechristened One Oak, or perhaps Øne Øak?—is only a few days old, and already it's been personified as a beaked doomsayer of the housing apocalypse and a rudely depicted booze enthusiast. The edit above is the handiwork of journalist and illustrator Susie Cagle, who told CityLab's Kriston Capps, "I'm not anti 'Manhattanization' in terms of dense growth and tall buildings, but this kind of housing won't help the city's affordability crisis." The tower's gap and slight twist are there to address the wind issues that plagued the prior design, by Richard Meier & Partners, but its vaguely maw-like quality proves irresistible bait for critics with a copy of Illustrator and five minutes to spare. (We've been here before, we won't lie.)


The Chronicle's John King maintained a more neutral tone, giving the design the nickname Talking Tower after Cagle and Brian Brophy (who authored the dissipated wino image) posted their altered versions. It's futile to attempt an in-depth conversation about a design's merits in between Photoshop volleys, and that's not the kind of critique happening here—but we can't exactly unsee that mouth, either. And now that it's a mouth, it can say anything it wants, right?

What should the Talking Tower say now that Twitter has bequeathed it the power of speech? Send your Talking Points to the tipline, and perhaps you'll see yours in a follow-up post. (Extra points given for humor, but not cruelty.)

· New Snøhetta Design Revealed for Tower at Market, Van Ness [Curbed SF]
· San Francisco Loves to Hate the Design of Its Newest Tower [CityLab]
· At One Van Ness Richard Meier Is Out and Snøhetta Is In [Curbed SF]
· Warriors Plan to "Refine" the "Work in Progress" Arena Design [Curbed SF]
· People Are Mocking The New Design For A Tower At One Van Ness [SFist]