Salesforce Transit Center

San Francisco, CA, USA

Situated in downtown San Francisco, this multimodal transport hub provides a platform to bus, rail and light rail networks across the state, and will also serve as the terminus for the future California High Speed Rail Link.

As well as these outstanding transport connections, the Center houses retail and entertainment facilities that include a beautiful 5.4 acre rooftop park.


A key challenge on this project came in delivering comprehensive yet highly energy efficient MEP engineering solutions across the five story main transit building. This was complicated because the building comprises one above grade bus level, a ground floor concourse and two below grade rail levels.

Curved exterior of Salesforce Transit Center
Delivering a multi-modal transit hub that links bus, rail and light rail systems, as well as providing retail and entertainment facilities. Image: Tim Griffith


We responded with a strategy that uses automatic motorized windows across the upper and ground levels of the Center to supply as much natural ventilation as possible, while also regulating internal temperatures to achieve perfect conditions for 95% of the year.

For the remaining 5%, which comprises periods of extreme heat or cold, a peak lopping radiant floor provides additional relief. An extensive ground coupled heating and cooling system comprising 50,000ft2 of pipework throughout further reduces the transit center’s carbon footprint. In addition, fixed openings on the facade work alongside fans to provide natural ventilation throughout the building and extract the carbon monoxide fumes from bus exhausts.

We used a range of advanced computer modeling programs to identify high performing solutions that were in line with sustainability goals. Image: Steelblue


Our design for the roof deck allows the grand hall to be lit throughout by natural light alone during the day time, with solar tubes then drawing this light down to achieve the same level of illumination on the bus deck below. We also devised a water management system that will store and reuse storm water, reducing potable water use throughout the Center by 50%.

Interior atrium of Salesforce Transit Center
Image: Tim Griffith



Architizer A+ Award

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