That San Francisco Tower Competition

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A few weeks ago I mentioned the now-in-progress competition to design what will be the tallest building in San Francisco — or for that matter anywhere on the West Coast — a new tower alongside a new bus and railway terminal being built by the Bay Area’s Transbay Joint Powers Authority. The three contenders are designs from the firms of Cesar Pelli, Richard Rogers and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The vote by the five-member Transbay board to choose the winner is still two weeks away, but the Pelli design, made in conjunction with the developer Hines, got a big boost earlier this week when a jury advising the board released a report strongly favoring the Pelli-Hines proposal. (The jury report, with lots of pictures, is here. The San Francisco Chronicle also has details.)

The jury seemed especially taken by Pelli’s idea to put a five-acre rooftop park above the terminal. But I’m guessing that they probably liked even better the fact that the Hines-Pelli team bid $350 million for the right to build the tower — more than twice what the other teams offered.