Giant Transbay Transit Center Also Giant Engineering Feat

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For Hines, which has developed nine million square feet of offices in San Francisco since the late 1970s, the Transbay Transit Tower represents a turning point for the global office landlord. “This tower will be part of an initiative of our company to move closer and into the Pacific,” said Gerald Hines, who has led the company since 1957. “This building will have almost but not quite a twin in Hong Kong.”

[contextly_sidebar id=”1899d1967ce32ce2535e0524a2875ad7″]Over the next three decades, the city of San Francisco projects 27,000 new jobs will fill six million square feet of new offices in the Transbay district. It also plans 4,500 housing units and 1,000 hotel rooms.

Pelli Clarke Pelli architects designed the tower and Transit Station in unison. Arup, which also does building and place design, is managing the geotechnical work for both. “You will see this tower from a distance and you will know that the Transit Center is in this place,” Cesar Pelli, an Argentine and former dean of the Yale School of Architecture, said March 27. The tower will be “dynamic, elegant and very gracious. We have designed it to be as delicate as possible and at the top to almost dissolve into thin air.”

In the end, Arup’s McLandrich estimates he will have devoted a decade of his professional life to the geotechnical work to support the Transit Center and Transbay Transit Tower. Crews are finishing two 80-foot-wide trestle bridges over the Transit Center’s massive pit to connect it at the surface from side to side and end to end. The thick wooden structures support the cranes, whose long arms stretch over the hole and dangle equipment from steel wires for the workers below.

“It is satisfying to contribute to society,” McLandrich said. “This project will provide great civic value to a large community for many generations.”

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