The Transamerica Pyramid, a landmark in the skyline of San Francisco, is undergoing a revitalization project led by Foster + Partners and luxury real estate developers SHVO. Built in 1972, the 48-story Brutalist-style project was designed by American architect William Pereira, and was the tallest building in San Francisco for nearly half a century. The renovation will be the largest in the building’s 50-year history, will also see the expansion and upgrade of the adjacent Three Transamerica (545 Sansome).
Foster + Partners' design seeks to restore the site's historic Redwood Park, tying Two Transamerica (505 Sansome Street) and Three Transamerica (545 Sansome Street) with the landmark through a series of interventions at ground level. The project creates a vibrant new destination in the heart of the city, while honoring its unique heritage and cultural significance. The offices are reimagined as living spaces, emphasizing comfort, hospitality, and flexibility. Taking into account the importance of the "return to the office post-pandemic", two glass-wrapped floors are allocated in the middle of the tower, dedicated to wellness, a lounge, and conferencing facilities. In addition, the top floor below the spire further promotes the notion of leisure with a private bar and lounge.
The iconic Redwood Park consists of approximately 50 100-ft-tall mature redwood trees planted back in 1974. The landscape will also be upgraded and complimented with additional greenery. Mark Twain Street, the alleyway from Sansome Street, will also be lined with plum blossom trees all the way up to the base of the pyramid, where curated cafes, shops, and restaurants are allocated.
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The Foster team, known for the sensitivity of its juxtapositions of historic and modern structures, conceived a design highly responsive not only to Pereira’s spectacular original architecture, but to the nature of downtown San Francisco: not a generic redo of a 1970’s tower, but a unique project intended to celebrate a unique modern building, making the most of its exclamation point on the skyline and its presence on the street, uniting the two to become a place like no other. -- Paul Goldberger, SHVO advisor for Transamerica Pyramid Center
In 2019, the Transamerica Pyramid was listed for sale, selling for $600 million. The project is set to be completed by the middle of 2023