Architecture studio SHoP and interior design firm Studio O+A have unveiled plans for a glassy new mini-campus for the firm behind the Uber taxi app. The two studios were selected by Uber to design its new home in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco – the city that has become the unofficial capital of America’s tech industry.
The 423,000-square-foot project (39,300 square metres) includes an 11-storey tower, connected to an adjoining six-storey building with an almost fully transparent facade. Both will occupy currently empty plots on Third Street, divided by a smaller side road. “At a time when many tech companies are creating campuses far from city centers, Uber has made a commitment in its new home to support the continued vitality of the urban environment and to help complete a thriving mixed‐use neighborhood,” said a statement from New York-based SHoP Architects.
A network of circulation and gathering spaces – dubbed “The Commons” by the architects – will serve a wide variety of functions and is designed to help connect the buildings to the street. The multi‐storey Commons will front both buildings on Third Street, creating a kinetic experience that SHoP principal Chris Sharples and O+A principal Denise Cherry liken to the experience of San Francisco itself. The two structures are connected by three double-level bridges that span over the road that divides the site, called Pierpoint Lane.
The Commons continues to form the essential circulation of the 11‐storey structure, crossing above Pierpoint Lane as three angling glass and steel bridges – an homage to the neighborhood’s history as a center for shipping and commerce. This new workplace also marks a departure from the growing trend of an entirely open-plan office. Instead, work stations are arranged in a series of smaller neighborhoods, each with access to shared support and collaborative work zones. Both buildings will also have shops integrated at ground level, and a nearby park will also be overhauled to include a daycare centre.