Active Façades for Uber Headquarters

Eric Parry
Founder, Principal
Eric Parry Architects, London

Uber’s new global headquarters in Mission Bay, San Francisco was designed as two buildings, an eleven-story tower and a six-story tower, interconnected with bridges. Central to the idea is the creation of a feature known as the Commons—a striking network of circulation and gathering spaces—which will bring the life of the building into contact with the life of the streets and allow views of the city to serve as a continual inspiration for the creative work taking place inside.

The Commons is designed as a semi-conditioned space: its interior environment is carefully tempered for comfort through a continually adjusting complex system of natural ventilation, light and shade. This fluid, indoor-outdoor space is made possible by a highly transparent outer glass wall, with many large operable panels which automatically react to exterior and interior temperatures, wind speeds and weather.

The design of this complex operable glass wall, replete with hanging steel trusses that span multiple floors at a time; custom-designed hydroponic planters with an integrated irrigation system; a significant seismic performance system, and a coordinated smoke exhaust system is a testament to a close collaboration between the design and construction teams.

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