Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Transbay Transit Center Aerial View; © Pelli Clarke Pelli / Transbay Joint Powers Authority

The revamped Transbay Transit Center in downtown broke ground earlier this week, a 1.5 million square foot development that will be part , part public park and urban space, and part office and retail establishments.  The massive undertaking, designed by renowned architecture firm Pelli Clarke Pelli will bring together 11 systems of local and national transportation, serving 45 million people per year.  In addition to securing access to myriad transit lines, the project will also provide downtown San Francisco with a 5.4-acre rooftop park, designed by PWP Landscape Architecture, along with numerous cultural programs.

The project is budgeted at $4.2 billion and is projected for completion in 2017.  It is funded in part by the construction of a 1,070-foot tower that is adjacent to the Transbay Transity Center, which is also designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli and slated to be the tallest tower in San Francisco.  The tower will secure 60 stories of office space and will contribute to the projected $87 billion of revenue through 2030.

Join us after the break for more details on this project.

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The Transbay Transit Center will span five city blocks, housing a variety of programs that will attract many different types of users to the downtown site.  After all, this development is not just a transportation hub.  The 5.4-acre rooftop park will include green spaces with diverse and native bay area plants, a 1000-person amphitheater, a cafe, playground, and an art and educational cultural center as well as a variety of cycling and pedestrian paths.  The halls of the transportation hub below will be illuminated by natural light, penetrating through skylights within the park.

Transbay Transit Center Exterior; © Pelli Clarke Pelli / Transbay Joint Powers Authority

In the renderings provided by Pelli Clarke Pelli, the hub is seen as having an undulating, translucent facade that creates airy, light-filled spaces within the plazas below.  The interior will cater to a variety of users.  Commercial spaces – providing both retail and food – will likely offer convenience and recreation for travelers and visitors to the transit center and ensure use of the site by local residents and those passing through.

Transbay Transit Center Interior; © Pelli Clarke Pelli / Transbay Joint Powers Authority

This new hub will replace the existing Transit Center from the early 20th century.  It is on track to receive a LEED Gold rating, in part because it will help reduce CO2 emissions.  A temporary hub is developed until the new Transbay Transit Center is complete.  Check back for updates as the project develops!

Architects: Pelli Clarke Pelli
Location: Transbay Transit Center
Architect In Charge: Pelli Clarke Pelli
Landscape Architect: PWP Landscape Architecture
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Transbay Transit Center and Pelli Clarke Pelli

References: DesignboomFastCo Design and KQED 

Cite: Vinnitskaya, Irina. "Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects" 13 Apr 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>