Salesforce Tower

Coordinates: 37°47′24″N 122°23′49″W / 37.7899°N 122.3969°W / 37.7899; -122.3969
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Salesforce Tower
View of Salesforce Tower from the Salesforce Park
Former namesTransbay Tower
Record height
Tallest in San Francisco since 2018[I]
Preceded byTransamerica Pyramid
General information
TypeCommercial offices, retail
Location415 Mission Street
San Francisco, California
Coordinates37°47′24″N 122°23′49″W / 37.7899°N 122.3969°W / 37.7899; -122.3969
Construction started2013 (2013)
OpeningJanuary 8, 2018
CostUS$1.1 billion
OwnerBoston Properties
Architectural1,070 ft (326 m)[1]
Roof970 ft (296 m)
Technical details
Floor count61
Floor area1,400,000 sq ft (130,000 m2)
Design and construction
Architect(s)Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
DeveloperHines Interests Limited Partnership, Boston Properties
EngineerMagnusson Klemencic Associates
Main contractorClark Construction Group Hathaway Dinwiddie
Other information
Public transit access (see Transbay Transit Center)

Salesforce Tower, formerly known as Transbay Tower, is a 61-story skyscraper at 415 Mission Street, between First and Fremont Street, in the South of Market district of downtown San Francisco. Its main tenant is Salesforce, a cloud-based software company. The building is 1,070 feet (326 m) tall, with a top roof height of 970 feet (296 m). Designed by César Pelli and developed by Hines Interests Limited Partnership and Boston Properties, it was the last building designed by Pelli to be completed in his lifetime. As of 2018, Salesforce Tower is the tallest building in San Francisco and the second-tallest building both in California and west of the Mississippi River after the 1,100 feet (335 m) Wilshire Grand Center in Los Angeles.[11][12]

Salesforce Tower is obelisk-shaped, with a grid of metal fins running from the base of the building to the roof. The building sits on a land fill, and multiple load-bearing pillars reach below the foundation and into bedrock. The exterior of the building consists of a glass and steel curtain wall with a steel frame and a concrete core. Each floor of the building uses brises soleil to deflect sunlight. Salesforce Tower is designed to be a green building, with the building employing water conservation measures and air intake systems.[not verified in body] A public art light sculpture at the top of the building, consisting of 11,000 LEDs, displays video animations every evening that can be seen from up to 30 miles away.

What is now the Salesforce Tower was planned as part of the San Francisco Transbay development, a redevelopment plan for the area surrounding the Transbay Transit Center. The plan was adopted by the city in 2005. In 2011, the San Francisco Transbay Terminal was completely demolished, beginning the plan, and in 2013, construction on the building began. Salesforce Tower was completed in 2018 for over $1.1 billion. By 2019, Boston Properties had acquired a 100% stake in the property.


Salesforce Tower is located at 415 Mission Street, at the intersection of First and Fremont Street, south of Market Street and within the Financial District of San Francisco. The building's land lot is rectangular and covers 50,514 sq ft (4,692.9 m2), while its frontage is 75.21 ft (22.92 m).[13]

Salesforce Tower is adjacent to the Transbay Transit Center, a 1,430 feet (440 m) transit station that replaced the San Francisco Transbay Terminal, which had been severely damaged as a result of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and served as the central focus of the San Francisco redevelopment plan. The building is located near Millennium Tower.[14]


Argentine-American architect César Pelli designed Salesforce Tower.

Salesforce Tower was designed by Argentine-American architect César Pelli[3] and developed by Hines Interests Limited Partnership and Boston Properties.[15] It was one of Pelli's last finished works before his death in 2019.[16] Other companies involved with the project include glass manufacturer Guardian Industries,[17] plumbing manufacturer Kohler Co., elevator manufacturer Schindler Group, engineering consultant Morrison Hershfield, and structural engineering firm Magnusson Klemencic Associates.[18] As of 2019, Boston Properties owns the building.[15]

Salesforce Tower is 61 stories tall,[3] and covers 1,400,000 sq ft (130,000 m2) of floorspace.[19] The 61st floor is known as the "Ohana Floor" and serves as an observation deck and lounge for Salesforce employees and guests.[20] It is made available for use by nonprofits on evenings and weekends.[citation needed] On February 5, 2019, the company announced and opened advance registration for public tours of the "Ohana Floor" once every month starting February 23.[21] The building's top 150 feet above the 61st floor have been described as "largely ornamental".[22]

Detail of the curtain wall façade

The Salesforce Tower consists of a glass and steel curtain wall, surrounding a structural steel frame, which surrounds a reinforced concrete core.[23] The building is enclosed in a lattice consisting of white aluminum fins and perforated sunshades, which reach out as much as two feet beyond the glass skin.[22] The tower's silhouette is smoothly tapering off toward the top.[22]

In 2017, Pelli stated that the aim had been something "very tall, very big, but still polite and appropriate."[22]

The footprint of Salesforce Tower rests on land fill near San Francisco's original waterfront, an area prone to soil liquefaction during earthquakes. To account for this seismic risk, the tower uses a design that is modeled to withstand the strongest earthquakes expected in the region.[24] Its foundation includes 42 piles driven down nearly 300 feet (91 m) to bedrock and a 14-foot (4.3 m) thick foundation mat.[25]

The Transbay Transit Center is located directly adjacent to the building, and is connected to the park level by a bridge on the 5th floor.[26]

"Day for Night" light sculpture[edit]

The crown of the tower features a nine-story electronic light sculpture, "Day for Night", by artist Jim Campbell. At its activation on May 21, 2018, it was considered the tallest public art piece in the world, visible from up to 30 miles away.[27][28][29] At the time, its daily schedule began at dusk with a display of the sunset's colors, followed by low resolution videos derived from footage filmed during the day by 12 cameras in various San Francisco locations (including the Ferry Building and the Cliff House), and concluded with displaying a star constellation from midnight to sunrise.[29] The installation went toward fulfilling the requirement of San Francisco's "Downtown Plan" that one percent of construction costs have to be set aside for public art.[30][29] The animations are generated by 11,000 inward-facing LED lights on the top six floors (which are unoccupied), supported by color lighting on the three floors below them (which house building infrastructure).[29]

By 2022, "Day for Night" was also featuring monthly "Midnight Artist Series" by other artists, and sometimes themed content for occasions such as Lunar New Year or Pride.[31] For Halloween 2018, in response to a petition that gathered 11,000 signatures, the light installation was made to look like the Eye of Sauron.[32] As of 2021, this has happened on every subsequent Halloween, too.[33]


Developer Hines Interests Limited Partnership, with a proposal by architect César Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects,[34] was selected as the winner of a global competition in 2007 to entitle and purchase the site. A seven-member jury of development experts assembled by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) selected Hines over proposals from Forest City Enterprises and architect Richard Rogers; and from Rockefeller Development Group Corp. and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.[35] In 2012, Boston Properties acquired a 50% stake in the project and in 2013 acquired most of Hines' remaining interest to become 95% owners of the project.[36]

The site of the tower was in a dilapidated area, formerly used as a ground-level entrance to the San Francisco Transbay Terminal, which was demolished in 2011. The TJPA sold the parcel to Boston Properties and Hines for US$192 million,[37] and ceremonial groundbreaking for the new tower occurred on March 27, 2013, with below-grade construction work starting in late 2013.[38][39] The project is a joint venture between general contractors Clark Construction and Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction.[39][40]

The development was originally contracted on spec, as Hines did not have a major tenant lease secured beforehand. On April 11, 2014, announced that it signed a lease for 714,000 square feet (66,300 m2) to become the building's anchor tenant.[10] Previously known as the Transbay Tower, the building was renamed Salesforce Tower.[41] The lease was valued at US$560 million over 15+12 years starting in 2017.[42]

The tower opened in 2018 and has 61 floors, with a decorative crown reaching 1,070 ft (326 m). The original proposal called for a 1,200-foot (370 m) tower, but the height was later reduced.[9] The building's first tenants began moving in on January 8, 2018. Upon opening, the building was 97% leased to tenants including Salesforce, Covington & Burling, WeWork, Bain & Company, Accenture, McDermott Will & Emery and Hellman & Friedman.[43]

In May 2019, Boston Properties bought out Hines' remaining 5% stake in the building to become the sole owner and operator.[44]

Critical reception[edit]

At the time of the building's opening in January 2018, the San Francisco Chronicle's architecture critic John King characterized it as "Immense but understated. Overwhelming yet refined. A study in thick-walled minimalism that seems to hover more than soar. All of which makes for a nuanced tower, conscientious and self-assured even as it reorients the skyline and redefines San Francisco’s visual image."[22] King also reported that "[a]rchitecture buffs already dismiss Salesforce Tower as old hat, another Pelli Clarke Pelli shaft with a tapered silhouette — just like the International Finance Centre in Hong Kong or Torre Costanera in Santiago, Chile" (the tallest building in South America).[22] However, he defended it against such criticism, pointing out differences like the Salesforce Tower's "smooth ascent".[22]

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) named Salesforce Tower the "Best Tall Building Worldwide" for 2019.[45][46]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Salesforce Tower - Clark Construction". Clark Construction Group, LLC.
  2. ^ "Project Description: 101 First Street (Transbay Tower)" (PDF). San Francisco Planning Commission. October 4, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Emporis building ID 307246". Emporis. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016.
  4. ^ "Salesforce Tower". SkyscraperPage.
  5. ^ Salesforce Tower at Structurae
  6. ^ "Pelli Clarke Pelli Transbay Tower Description". Archived from the original on May 19, 2017. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  7. ^ King, John (August 12, 2007). "Plan B: Architects: Pelli Clarke Pelli". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
  8. ^ King, John (September 21, 2007). "'Aggressive schedule' for proposed Transbay transit center, tower (picture)". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 17, 2008.
  9. ^ a b "Yes, The Proposed Transbay Transit Tower Shrank A Hundred Feet". SocketSite. March 12, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Boston Properties Signs a 714,000 Square Foot Lease with at Salesforce Tower (Formerly Transbay Tower)" (Press release). The Registry. April 11, 2014.
  11. ^ "LA vs SF in Battle for Tallest Building". January 26, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  12. ^ Slayton, Nicholas (September 12, 2016). "An Amazing View of the Wilshire Grand Spire". Los Angeles Downtown News. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  13. ^ "SF Property Information Map Report for: 415 Mission Street". San Francisco Planning. Retrieved October 14, 2022.
  14. ^ "Revised SF Millennium Tower's sinking fix includes using fewer support piles: Report". ABC7 News. December 29, 2021. Retrieved October 14, 2022.
  15. ^ a b Gage, G. (October 25, 2018). "Boston Properties Achieves New Heights with Salesforce Tower". REIT. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  16. ^ Murphy, Brian (July 19, 2019). "César Pelli, celebrated architect of sweep and harmony, dies at 92". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  17. ^ "Architect Magazine" (PDF). Architect Magazine. Architect Magazine. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  18. ^ Gonchar, Joann (July 1, 2018). "Salesforce Tower by Pelli Clarke Pelli". Architectural Record. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  19. ^ "Salesforce Tower". Hines. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  20. ^ Keeling, Brock (September 24, 2018). "Here's the view from Salesforce Tower's Ohana Floor". Curbed San Francisco.
  21. ^ "Salesforce Tower Tours".
  22. ^ a b c d e f g King, John (January 9, 2018). "Salesforce Tower - underwhelming despite its size". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 13, 2022.
  23. ^ "ESCSI Salesforce Towerdate=29 November 2017". November 29, 2017.
  24. ^ "The Salesforce Tower Utilizes a "Performance-based Seismic Design"". Conco. December 20, 2015. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  25. ^ Stockton, Nick (November 11, 2015). "It Took 18 Hours to Pour the Foundation for San Francisco's Tallest Skyscraper". WIRED.
  26. ^ "San Francisco Transbay Transit Center Reopens Without Bus Service". CBS News San Francisco Bay Area. July 1, 2019. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  27. ^ Whiting, Sam (September 13, 2017). "Preview of Salesforce sculpture at Hosfelt Gallery". SF Gate. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  28. ^ Heller, Nathan (May 25, 2018). "The Bright Lights of the Salesforce Tower". The New Yorker. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  29. ^ a b c d Whiting, Sam (May 20, 2018). "Atop Salesforce Tower, one of the world's highest works of public art comes to light". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  30. ^ Spivack, Cari (December 16, 2017). "In San Francisco, New Public Art You Can't Avoid Seeing". KQED. Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  31. ^ "Salesforce Tower Night San Francisco | Artwork | Day for Night". Salesforce Tower: Official Web Site. Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  32. ^ "Fiery Eye of Sauron stares down San Francisco from atop Salesforce Tower -". November 1, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  33. ^ "Yes, Salesforce Tower Went as the Eye of Sauron Again for Halloween". SFist - San Francisco News, Restaurants, Events, & Sports. November 1, 2021. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  34. ^ "Buildings in the United States made with steel". Reach New Heights with Steel. April 30, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  35. ^ King, John (September 10, 2007). "Jury names favorite for Transbay terminal, tower". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  36. ^ Dineen, J.K. (March 19, 2013). "Boston Properties takes control of Transbay Tower, S.F.'s tallest building". Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  37. ^ "Boston Properties and Hines Close on Record Land Sale for Transbay Transit Tower Parcel" (Press release). BusinessWire. March 26, 2013.
  38. ^ Dineen, J.K. (March 27, 2013). "Hines, Boston Properties sling ceremonial dirt in Transbay ground-breaking". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  39. ^ a b "Clark to Build San Francisco's Transbay Tower" (Press release). August 12, 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  40. ^ Rosato Jr., Joe (March 28, 2013). "The Man Behind the New Transbay Tower". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  41. ^ Ellen Huet; John Coté (April 11, 2014). "Salesforce makes landmark deal to lease half of Transbay Tower". San Francisco Chronicle.
  42. ^ Hoge, Patrick (April 11, 2014). "Salesforce dominates Transbay Tower with San Francisco's biggest lease ever". San Francisco Business Times.
  43. ^ Torres, Blanca (January 10, 2018). "San Francisco's tallest building, Salesforce Tower, opens at 97 percent leased". San Francisco Business Times.
  44. ^ Peterson, Jon (May 9, 2019). "Boston Properties takes full control of Salesforce Tower as Hines sells out". IPE RA. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  45. ^ "CTBUH Names 2019 Best Tall Building Worldwide, Among 20 Other Award Winners!". April 10, 2019. Archived from the original on May 29, 2019. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  46. ^ Cogley, Bridget (April 12, 2019). "CTBUH names San Francisco's Salesforce Tower world's "best tall building". Retrieved May 29, 2019.

External links[edit]