The architectural and structural designs were collaboratively conceived by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. The design was further enhanced through alliances with small business design collaborators Fougeron Architecture and STRUCTUS. The design of 500 Folsom is a good example for designers of slender core-only towers in high-seismic zones.
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The architectural design gives the distinction of shifting blocks balanced with verticality, achieved with energy-reducing shading fins. The structural system is entirely reinforced concrete, for cost-efficiency, and facilitates a 3-day floor-to-floor leading core concrete construction cycle.
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The core-only approach has been analytically verified to provide adequate lateral system strength and stiffness on many projects.