Transamerica Pyramid

Added by admin, last update: August 17, 2012, 2:07 pm

Transamerica Pyramid
600 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA
United States
37° 47' 42.5652" N, 122° 24' 9.8352" W
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Identity of Building / Site
Primary classification: Commercial (COM)
Secondary classification:
Federal, State, or Local Designation(s) and Date(s):
History of Building/Site
Original Brief:
Dates: Commission / Completion:Commission unknown, completion 1972(e).
Architectural and other Designer(s): William Pereira & Associates, architect Tom Galli, landscape architect for adjacent Redwood Park
Others associated with Building/Site:
Significant Alteration(s) with Date(s): Renovation to restaurant
Current Use: Office building and restaurant.
Current Condition: Good
General Description:
Construction Period:
Original Physical Context:
Technical Evaluation:
Cultural & Aesthetic:
General Assessment:
Extremely controversial when built, the Transamerica Pyramid has become a San Francisco landmark and one of the country's most recognizable skyscrapers. The design is counterintuitive from a practical and financial standpoint, since the most desirable upper floors have the least area. Yet the scheme works well for a building dominated by a single tenant and illustrates the ability of modern structures to create strong corporate identities for their owners. The pyramid form was chosen as a way to maximize building height under planning regulations, and as a strategy to allow more light to reach the street level where the building rests on concrete clad steel piers forming a loggia between the sidewalk and lobby. Below the aluminum sheathed point, cladding panels of glass and precast concrete complete the exterior and demonstrate the ascendancy of exposed concrete in modern building construction by the early 1970s.
Text references:
Recorder/Date: DOCOMOMO US Northern California Chapter, June 1998
P.O. Box 230977
New York, NY 10023
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