555 Mission Street

San Francisco CA, USA Tishman Speyer Properties Heller Manus, Collaborating Architect Office 550,000 ft2 / 51,000 m2 Gold San Francisco Chronicle ‘Best New Office Building’ (2009)

Located in the heart of San Francisco’s rapidly developing Mission Street corridor, this 33-story office tower is the first LEED Gold-certified speculative development in the city. The prominent site—a 34,000-square-foot, mid-block parcel on the south side of the street—along with the tower’s sustainable design program makes it a high-profile addition to the downtown area.

One of the few fully glazed towers in the neighborhood, 555 Mission Street’s materials palette sets it apart from nearby structures, while the design’s setbacks respond to the local building context. The curtain wall has a distinctive glass-and-metal fin in its vertical mullion, and a lantern-like crown distinguishes the tower on the nighttime skyline.

The LEED Gold-certified building, which exceeds California's energy code by five percent, has a highly reflective, cool-roof system to reduce the heat-island effect. Ozone-depleting refrigerants in all heating and cooling systems have been eliminated. The mechanical system delivers 30 percent more fresh air to all occupied spaces than is required by code. Low-VOC adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, and carpets help to maintain air-quality levels. Water-efficient fittings and fixtures limit the consumption of natural resources. On-site, below-grade parking includes designated spaces for low-emission and fuel-efficient vehicles. And 90 percent of the building’s occupants have outdoor views of the city and the bay.

The connection between 555 Mission Street and the city continues at street level, where a public plaza doubles as the building’s front door. The 11,000-square-foot space is enlivened by a topiary wall, trees, benches, and a commissioned sculpture by artist Jonathan Borofsky. The tower, which has 4,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, is accessible to public transportation and within walking distance of popular restaurants, hotels, and cultural destinations.

In addition to use of low-VOC construction materials and over 50% of the building’s construction materials being manufactured within 500 miles of the project site, the construction team diverted 86% of the project’s construction waste from landfills to recycling agencies in the region. The building manager enforces a green cleaning and operations policy and has installed direct tenant sub-metering equipment to allow tenants to monitor energy consumption in order to realize the direct financial benefits of employing energy conservation measures.

Image 1 / 7 | © H.G. Esch