San Francisco: Uber Mission Bay Campus

I spoke recently of loving parking garages for their typically easy interior access. For some buildings, so much of the story is about the exterior of the building but in my mind, any great piece of architecture shows its true self on the interior.

With these Uber buildings, there is more than meets the eye to these buildings. In fact, the studies showing the interior make this a place I’d definitely would love to get a tour of. It’s always fortunate for the public when architects can share their models and drawings with a wider audience to help others learn.

On the exterior there were a few moments that caught my eye. The “underbelly” textures- quite a bit of attention to detail on the materials for the underside of the overhangs, of which there were quite a few. I hope for those riders waiting for their Ubers, they take a minute to look up from their phones to appreciate what’s hanging above them.

“Just look up” should be my motto for these buildings. I was delighted when I was able to sneak a peak into the construction of the outer wall juxtaposition with the interior structures. I feel as if no corner was left unturned. Makes me even more intrigued to see what the working functioning spaces of this are.

Perhaps most obvious of the features though are the crossing ped bridges.

Having lived in many cold weather climates, anything that allows people to transit between buildings without having to go outside seems exceptionally smart. Its really not that cold in San Francisco, so I suppose efficiency is the practicality here? I wonder if people have to walk single file- the walkways don’t seem that wide. I wish they would have built a joining top floor similar to the CCTV building in China or La Défense cause that would have made this campus epic.

I had sort of finished up with the Uber buildings and had moved onto the Chase Center complex, but came upon one of my now favorite parts of not just Uber, but perhaps in hindsight one of my favorite nooks in San Francisco overall (see image at top right of post). The sweeping curve of the back of the building sitting so tightly aligned with the convex surface of the Chase Center- it was a modern version reminiscent of tight alleys in older European cities. A fully pedestrian experience.

In the end I did not like the Chase Center in and of itself, so that’s as much of what you’ll see of that.

Address: 1725 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94158

Website: ARCHITECT Write up: SHoP Architects and San Francisco’s Studio O+A