M. Arthur Gensler & Associates, Inc.
Location & Year
Oakland, CA, 1991
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The tower for this headquarters building in downtown Oakland is shifted to one side of the site to create a generous public plaza fronting the street. The granite paving for the plaza descends to street level through a series of symmetrical monumental stairs, ramps and large-scale landscaped planters.
Generously proportioned punched windows set within a grid of limestone-hued architectural precast columns and spandrels comprise the façade on three sides. A gentle convex curve of glass, 22 stories high, above a three-story tall entry arcade gives the building a strong presence on the plaza.
The building lobby conveys a sense of modern elegance through the artful use of warm wood tones and a palette of gray, white and black granites.