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SOM

Case Study: An Urban Living Room for San Francisco

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The Challenge

How can a new office building make a positive contribution to its neighborhood? While 350 Mission, a 30-story tower at the corner of San Francisco’s Mission and Fremont streets, is a shining example of sustainable design, its social and cultural impact occurs at street level.

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Our Solution

In designing this office building for Salesforce, we sought to redefine what a lobby is and does—not only for the occupants of the building, but also for the greater public. We expanded the threshold between public and private into a full-fledged “urban living room,” imagined as a space that is not just visible to passersby, but one that they can use and enjoy.

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Open for Business, and Leisure

Our architecture and engineering team designed the tower to cantilever over its southern corner, where slideable panels allow the 50-foot-high lobby to open up to the sidewalk. The public interior space includes a cafe, informal seating across two levels, and a restaurant at mezzanine level, as well as wooden-plank amphitheater seating. Designed to be reconfigured for events, the flexible open space can also accommodate pop-up retail and food trucks.

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City on Display

Within the lobby, an enormous wall-mounted LED screen displays captivating imagery that draws people into the space. Visible from the street, the “video canvas” is dedicated to large-scale digital artwork and parametric data sculptures telling the story of the city and its residents. The installation, specially commissioned for 350 Mission, adds a dynamic backdrop to the open lobby.

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Room for Everyone

Since opening to the public in 2016, the porous street-level space invites tenants and passersby alike to socialize, relax, collaborate, or reflect—in short, to use the lobby as if it were their own living room. In this sense, 350 Mission represents both a shift in the concept of the workplace and a model for 21st-century city life. It brings serendipitous encounters and interactions to a singular site, located between the workplace and the public realm. Its movable glass walls may be transparent, but the lobby of 350 Mission mirrors the metropolis itself: a place for people to come together.

Learn more about 350 Mission.