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-   -   SAN FRANCISCO | Transamerica Pyramid | 853 FT / 260 M | 48 FLOORS | 1972 (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=172602)

plinko Aug 15, 2009 5:44 AM

SAN FRANCISCO | Transamerica Pyramid | 853 FT / 260 M | 48 FLOORS | 1972
 
It's a rare thing when a piece of architecture can become a true icon, but the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco is arguably as famous as the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, and the Empire State Building as a symbol of its city.

Like most towers of its size, it was originally derided by locals as being alien to San Francisco, a product of corporate greed and imported L.A. flashy architecture (designed by William Periera).

But if you asked them today, I'm sure but all of a few crusty old geezers would tell you that it is an absolutely wonderful pinnacle to their city.

The base is a truly brutal disaster, a concrete mess of jumbled triangular geometry, but there is a small redwood park that attempts to soften it a little. The precast concrete facade tapers up 48 stories, and oddly the window surrounds actually give a small hint of vernacular San Francisco bay windows.

The tower tapers so much that the elevator cores actually break free of the pyramid and form 'wings' at the top. The building is capped by a further continuation of the pyramid, lit up at night, but unfortunately a bit muted.

I believe there is a rotating aircraft beacon at the top as well, but i'm not sure if it's in use.

The pyramid isn't a great shape in terms of leasable space for an office tower, as the 48th floor of this tower is a mere 5,400 SF! Still, it projects a profile that is forever memorable and is a true icon for the city of San Francisco.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...MID/TAP001.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...MID/TAP002.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...MID/TAP003.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...MID/TAP004.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...MID/TAP005.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...MID/TAP006.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...MID/TAP007.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...MID/TAP008.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...MID/TAP009.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...MID/TAP010.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...MID/TAP011.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...MID/TAP012.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...MID/TAP013.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...MID/TAP014.jpg

LMich Aug 15, 2009 6:32 AM

I love it for its uniqueness, but, man, do I wish they'd used another material for the facade. I've seen this one in person, and I hear the facade is quartz, but it's aged like bad exterior concrete.

BTinSF Aug 15, 2009 6:58 AM

So what do you think about the proposal to put this next to it:

http://www.socketsite.com/555%20Wash...0Rendering.jpg

http://www.socketsite.com/555%20Wash...v%20Office.jpg

http://www.socketsite.com/555%20Wash...0Landscape.jpg

All images from http://www.socketsite.com via http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=130808

plinko Aug 15, 2009 5:33 PM

^the round one isn't bad looking.

arlekin_m Aug 15, 2009 8:47 PM

What a strange building.

peanut gallery Aug 17, 2009 4:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plinko (Post 4407081)
there is a small redwood park that attempts to soften it a little.

The proposal that BT posted includes expansion of that park.

Quote:

Originally Posted by plinko (Post 4407081)
I believe there is a rotating aircraft beacon at the top as well, but i'm not sure if it's in use.

It is still in use but only on special occasions, most notably around the holidays.

SLO Aug 17, 2009 5:07 PM

the round one isnt bad, the park is great too.

Amanita Aug 19, 2009 11:14 PM

I have always been a fan of the pyramid. Such an unusual, fun, and funky tower! Apparently the poor thing got a crude nickname- "Periera's prick", but I don't think anyone uses it anymore.

CGII Aug 20, 2009 12:27 AM

Perhaps the easiest to love brutalist building in history.

M II A II R II K Dec 25, 2009 6:33 PM

Transamerica Pyramid Achieves LEED Gold and Mayor Releases EB Recommendations


Monday, 21 December 2009

Read More: http://www.usgbc-ncc.org/

Quote:

Mayor Gavin Newsom announced new legislation aimed at improving energy efficiency for existing buildings in San Francisco at a LEED Gold plaque presentation for the Transamerica Pyramid. The Mayor convened a task force on existing buildings to come up with recommendations; included on the task force were two of USGBC-NCC's Boardmembers, Barry Giles and Lisa Galley.

USGBC-NCC Executive Director Dan Geiger presented the LEED Gold plaque to Christof George of AEGON Insurange Group. The iconic Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco received LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (EBOM) Gold, symbolizing the city's efforts to go green.

wrab Dec 25, 2009 10:53 PM

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y15...ca_Pyramid.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ca_Pyramid.jpg

Infernal_Elf Apr 24, 2010 7:46 PM

i love this building it looks really great and i think san francisco`s new supertall should be built in the same design only much taller and with a different cladding.

dr_strangelove May 8, 2010 1:36 AM

I think the base with the redundant triangles is one of the best features visually, and also makes it durable in an earthquake. And I do believe this building fits into the category "futurism" and not "brutalism."

SanFranFan Mar 10, 2011 8:57 PM

I agree the base is not beautiful , the rest is okay , i'l looking for pictures of the construction. found only 2 .

Thanks

THE BIG APPLE Feb 16, 2013 6:26 AM

They were smart and knew pyramid buildings as office towers are infeasible. So that's they gave it some girth on two ends. Still the best building on the West Coast.

mt_climber13 Apr 10, 2013 1:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by THE BIG APPLE (Post 6017318)
They were smart and knew pyramid buildings as office towers are infeasible. So that's they gave it some girth on two ends. Still the best building on the West Coast.



Actually the wings are elevator shafts and were added because the building was shortened from its initial 1,000'+

SFView Feb 15, 2016 11:20 PM

I came across this photo of an earlier proposal for the Transamerica Pyramid. I believe that is Mayor Joseph Alioto on the far left talking with, if I'm not mistaken, radio and TV host Jim Dunbar. Does anyone know who the others are? Was this the proposal at 1,000 or 1,150 feet?

Source:
https://plus.google.com/photos/10352...49380337783490

http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m...20Building.jpg

viewguysf Feb 16, 2016 3:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SFView (Post 7336538)
I came across this photo of an earlier proposal for the Transamerica Pyramid. I believe that is Mayor Joseph Alioto on the far left talking with, if I'm not mistaken, radio and TV host Jim Dunbar. Does anyone know who the others are? Was this the proposal at 1,000 or 1,150 feet

That's very cool! I had just been thinking about trying to find original renderings.

It was shortened 297', from 1,150' to the present 853'. I've always deeply regretted that--a great mistake, preventing a much more dynamic tower that Transamerica was already prepared to build.

mdsayh1 Feb 22, 2016 1:54 AM

Does anyone know why it was ever shortened?

mthd Feb 22, 2016 4:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mdsayh1 (Post 7343927)
Does anyone know why it was ever shortened?

opposition from many directions, including neighbors on tel hill, the city planning department, the aia, spur, etc.

this article by john king has a decent history:

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/P...on-3277598.php


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