555 California Street
555 California Street, formerly Bank of America Center, was built in 1969 as the tallest building on the West Coast. For over 20 years and for multiple owners, Huntsman has provided building architect services for the 52-story tower including leasing support, accessibility studies, space planning and tenant improvements, as well as design of common areas and capital project assistance. The most recent improvements encompassed three main design programs - an update of the building's main plaza lobby, renovation of the retail concourse, and revitalization of the outdoor Summer Street entry plaza.
In the building's light-filled main plaza lobby, a floor-to-ceiling height curtain wall faces the property's outdoor plaza. Respecting original modern aesthetic of the building, careful consideration was given to the design and selection of new lighting, furniture, and an updated material palette for the lobby. Complementing the original granite floors and walls as well as the ceiling's bronzed steel panels, updated finishes, fabrics, and area rugs present a subtle warmth and luster to brighten the lobby's ambiance. New furnishings add more personal and approachable scale to the space.
The 12,000 square foot subterranean retail concourse posed a unique design challenge: despite a lack of daylight and a complex multi-level circulation pattern, the goal was to create a destination and community space for the Financial District and provide a functional and vibrant amenity for the building tenants. The solution involved a complete interior renovation with new floor and wall finishes and redesigned, more prominent retail storefronts. A custom ceiling, soffit, and lighting solution blends seamlessly with the existing architecture, adding a rich materiality and texture, and most importantly elegantly illuminating the passage space. Public seating alcoves were reconfigured to offer tenants and visitors welcoming and comfortable spaces for socialization, respite, or for touchdown workspace. The furniture and fabrics selected coordinate with those used in the main plaza lobby to unify the building's public areas.
An extension of the concourse repositioning is a renovation of the Summer Street exterior plaza, an outdoor courtyard that serves as a vibrant pedestrian corridor from Montgomery Street to the east concourse entrance. A "parklet" design features new outdoor seating and landscape elements to draw visitors into the retail complex or to linger over a cup of coffee.
Client Vornado Realty Trust
Scope Interior and Exterior Planning and Design
Size Retail Concourse 12,000 square feet
Exterior Concourse 2,900 square feet
Exterior Summer Street Plaza 4,200 square feet
Plaza Main Lobby 10,800 square feet
Location San Francisco, CA
Credits Photography by David Wakely