Salesforce Mission Bay Rendering: Plaza
From the Wall Street Journal today with respect to the proposed designs for Salesforce’s new global headquarters campus in Mission Bay:

Renderings of the Salesforce.com campus, released earlier this month, feature a flashy design. A public square is anchored by a hot-pink Jumbotron video screen.

“That was my idea,” Mr. Benioff, the Salesforce.com CEO, said of the screen. “Putting something like that there can add a lot of energy.” The Jumbotron could be used for things such as employee presentations and public entertainment, he said.

Salesforce.com is hoping for design-review approval from the city by September. “If we can’t get the approvals we could also end up somewhere else,” Mr. Benioff said.

The redevelopment agency’s Ms. Kahn said that while she didn’t anticipate problems with the design review, the pink Jumbotron might face additional environmental scrutiny. Overall, Ms. Kahn said, “we’re generally, based on what we’ve seen, pleased.”

And in the words of JK Dineen:

Let’s be real. It’s highly unlikely that the redevelopment agency board, which has rubber stamped pretty much everything that has been proposed for the 303-acre Mission Bay campus, will give Salesforce a hard time. We are talking about 10,000 Salesforce jobs. We are talking about at least $700 million of 100 percent union construction over the next five years. In Marc Benioff we are also talking about a philanthropic superstar who, along with his wife, donated $100 million for the UCSF Hospital that is driving much of the investment into Mission Bay.

Designs For Salesforce’s Global Headquarters Complex in Mission Bay [SocketSite]
A Bit Of Color On (And For) Salesforce’s Campus In Mission Bay [SocketSite]
Mission Bay Prepares for Makeover [WSJ]
Salesforce CEO: approve our HQ plan, or else… [Business Times]
The Building Of UCSF’s New Mission Bay Medical Center Is Underway [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by invented

    “That was my idea,” Mr. Benioff, the “Salesforce.com CEO, said of the screen. “Putting something like that there can add a lot of energy.” The Jumbotron could be used for things such as employee presentations and public entertainment, he said.
    Um, not to mention ADVERTISING. A huge screen in the public plaze will be as enjoyable as the ubiquitous must-have shouting screens everywhere. Gas pumps, banks, supermarket check-outs, massive ones as we begin the approach on the Bay Bridge (who liked the view of the water and rising hills anyway?) – THE PUBLIC MUST HAVE SCREENS E V E R Y W H E R E –EVEN “pubic spaces”.

  2. Posted by Rez

    Hope they will play the away games on the screen like they do at the park in San Diego. Looks like it would be a nice place to watch.

  3. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Good point invented. There’s so much temptation to channel obnoxious videostreams to any screen. It would be fine content were constrained to just quarterly salesforce meetings, big sports events, and occasional “movie nights”. The rest of the time either blank the screen or display some calming piece of video art. I have no idea how the public could be guaranteed that the plaza won’t be flooded with looping public service announcements or worse though.
    [my favorite slogan of an early jumbotron advertiser was “Neovision: impossible to ignore”. True and kind of creepy]

  4. Posted by LD

    Just the fact that the proposed jumbotron is pink should be the last straw. That whole project is an eyesore with nothing to redeem it. Ironic that the Redevelopment Agency is charged with improving blighted neighborhoods and is in fact creating one in Mission Bay. Our City Planners should be ashamed of themselves.

  5. Posted by LD

    Just the fact that the proposed jumbotron is pink should be the last straw. That whole project is an eyesore with nothing to redeem it. Ironic that the Redevelopment Agency is charged with improving blighted neighborhoods and is in fact creating one in Mission Bay. Our City Planners should be ashamed of themselves.
    The ultimate Pay to Play version of Planning.

  6. Posted by JM

    LD’s comments and those similar are a perfect example of a permeating, ice-bound thought process in San Francisco: A narrow-minded, backward-looking ideal that San Francisco should remain as it was in 1985.
    SF’s infamous discretionary review process comprised of bickering neighborhood groups vying for power, environmental impact studies, historic/landmark review board are just a few examples (read roadblocks) of this petrified way of thing.
    Get out of the way, the future is coming. Guaranteed!

  7. Posted by Mole Man

    Nothing says San Francisco modern like a hot pink Jumbotron. It would be nice if some local video artists had some opportunities to display works there.

  8. Posted by Legacy Dude

    I seriously LOL’ed when I read this. Was going to write something about “real SF” knowing where the bread is buttered, but no need to state the obvious.
    Larry Ellison should install one of these in his backyard and leave it on 24/7 until his neighbors trim their trees.
    NIMBYs take note – this is how it begins, and it’s a slippery slope. If this gets built, Alamo Square and Telegraph Hill will surely be lit up like Las Vegas within weeks. Giant jumbotrons for all!

  9. Posted by sfrenegade

    A huge screen in the public plaze will be as enjoyable as the ubiquitous must-have shouting screens everywhere. Gas pumps, banks, supermarket check-outs, massive ones as we begin the approach on the Bay Bridge (who liked the view of the water and rising hills anyway?) – THE PUBLIC MUST HAVE SCREENS E V E R Y W H E R E –EVEN “pubic spaces”.
    Obligatory snicker at “pubic spaces.” :)
    You know, the jumbotron thing isn’t as offensive as people are making it out to be. We used to have theater marquees and people now go to extreme measures to save theater facades in this city. This is just the modern version.
    Meanwhile, the same people complaining are watching internet advertising all day and probably would buy a fridge with an LCD screen.
    LD’s comments and those similar are a perfect example of a permeating, ice-bound thought process in San Francisco: A narrow-minded, backward-looking ideal that San Francisco should remain as it was in 1955.
    There, fixed that for you. Possibly even earlier. But look at the pictures of Bernal in 1950s vs. now.

  10. Posted by zzzzzzzz

    I wasn’t aware there had been any significant opposition to the project, not that it would surprise me, of course. Am I missing something here?

  11. Posted by LD

    I hate to tell you all, but pink jumbotrons are so very Worlds’ Fair Osaka 1970. Already obsolete, that’s my point.

  12. Posted by AnonArch

    Let’s keep Expo 70 out of this! An early childhood visit to Expo 70 caused me to want to study and become and architect. This new “campus” is NO Expo 70, though you are right about bright pink red and orange being used in various structures at the time. The only structures at Expo 70 that would have been this poorly designed would have been the parking garages.
    http://pinktentacle.com/2010/03/photos-expo-70/

  13. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Thanks for turning me on to expo-70 AnonArch. Those are some very forward thinking interesting concepts … from four decades ago! I really liked the Isamu Noguchi fountain and that Swiss lamp that looks like a cubic sakura tree (nice gesture towards Japanese culture).

  14. Posted by Stucco-sux

    AT Expo 67 in Montreal, they had elephants. Something tells me we will get brittle burners breathing fire.
    But enough about the breath of faux-gressives.

  15. Posted by anonfedup

    A pink Jumbotron is a poor attempt at trying to be “imaginative” and “modern”, and force feeding life into a public space. This reminds me of the “triforium” in downtown Los Angeles, a curious structure I found on a recent trip to Los Angeles. The Triforium is another dated failed attempt at trying to be clever and up to date with the technology of the time, and bringing “life” to a dead part of downtown Los Angeles. Now it rarely operates due to noise complaints, and is sits in an urban nightime ghostown.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triforium_(Los_Angeles)

  16. Posted by RUKidding

    I heard that Benioff was not happy with the design. I can see why. I believe that he is just testing the water and see how people react.
    This project is amazingly bad. Someone said you’d fail in architecture school. I would agree.
    Throwing some bold colors and putting a screen does not make for good architecture.
    This is not even a schematic design, it is a poor assembly of a few boxes with some holes in it.
    Mr. Benioff, please get a good architect, there are plenty out there.

  17. Posted by sore arm

    When it comes to designing a big corporate campus, Mr. Benioff is getting owned by Mr. Jobs.

  18. Posted by tjsf

    Regardless of color or form or nomenclature or intended content, this thing is nothing other that a billboard, and should be regulated as such rather than accepted as part of a discretionary review process.

  19. Posted by VancouverJones

    Alert. Set shields at maximum. Campus style architecture approaching urban area at 10,000 jobs warp speed.
    This CEO should be required to do the following before any his urban planning “ideas” are entertained.
    1. Read Jane Jacobs.
    2. Aattend any New Urbanism conference.
    3. Watch William Whyte’s classic video: Sociology of Small Urban Spaces.
    As for Mr Jobs. I admire him because he represents the best of the American spirit. Generosity, innovation, perserverance.. and hard work. I’m a little perplexed, however, at how someone who’s done so much to enhance the connections between people could embrace a suburban form that isolates people from the community.

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