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A new pair of towers proposed for downtown San Francisco would include the city’s second-tallest building - and perhaps its most startling public space, an open-air plaza set beneath the main tower’s elevated first floor.
The project straddles the northwest corner of First and Mission streets, with a 605-foot tower on Mission and a broad 910-foot high-rise on First. By comparison, the Salesforce Tower under construction on the southeast corner will top off at 1,070 feet.
Amid all this, plans for the project submitted to the city call for three small buildings at the northwest corner to remain, fragments of the aged city among the colossi of the new.
“We like maintaining that historic connection,” said Michael Covarrubias, president of TMG Partners, the developer. “Those three buildings capture the fabric of the city and where it has been.”
The lead architect for the project is Foster + Partners, the celebrated English firm doing the doughnut-shaped Apple headquarters in Cupertino. If built as now envisioned, the San Francisco tower would be equally futuristic, with brawny structural columns slicing across a mid-block space 80 yards wide. Except for the elevator lobbies at the rear of the plaza the tower would begin 70 feet in the air, clad in glass and held in place by diagonal columns forming giant X’s along the outer walls.