November 12, 2013

A Peek At 535 Mission's Public Art Proposal And Pedestrian Linkage

535%20Mission%20Rendering%202013.jpg

With the construction of the 27-story office tower at 535 Mission Street slated for completion in 2014, this week San Francisco’s Planning Commission will get their first peek at the two proposed works of art to fulfill San Francisco’s One Percent for the Arts requirement.

The first piece is a sculptural composition of bronze, copper and steel by Anton Josef Standteiner to be installed at the corner of Minna Street and Shaw Alley. Entitled "The Band," Standteiner's piece consists of four separate sculptures representing members of a music group with each sculpture measuring approximately 10 feet in height (click renderings to enlarge):

The second work of art is a linear piece of dichroic and mirrored glass mounted to a stone backing. Gordon Huether's "Applique Da Parete" would be mounted within the lobby of 535 Mission Street with portions extending outdoors beyond the glass curtain wall of the building:

Both artworks are intended "to enliven and engage Shaw Alley," the public right-of-way next to the Salt House which will be closed to vehicular traffic and upgraded with paving, lighting, and landscape treatments to serve as a pedestrian linkage between Mission Street and San Francisco’s new Transbay Transit Center which is slated to open in 2017.

First Published: November 12, 2013 7:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Without prominent signage, there's no way the public is going to know that this is a "public alley". These faux public spaces are conceits; scraps thrown by developers to appease planners while not really benefitting the public.

And sorry, I love a lot of the development going on in SoMa, but don't see why this building is getting so much praise - it's tiny even compared to its existing neighbors, and within a decade will appear underbuilt and dated.

[Editor's Note: Is 535 Mission Street Selling Itself And San Francisco Short?]

Posted by: Sierrajeff at November 12, 2013 8:23 AM

'Without prominent signage, there's no way the public is going to know that this is a "public alley".'

I call shenanigans. If you think commuters won't be able to figure out every way in and out of the new Transbay Terminal, you must never have had the pleasure of commuting via transit. Have you ever been to the warren of the Penn Station bus terminal in NY?

I like the Huether piece, but the 'band' sculpture looks like a lapel pin from a 1980's women's corporate suit with shoulder pads. I suppose a fountain would attract midnight hobos in need of a place to relieve themselves.

Posted by: soccermom at November 12, 2013 8:45 AM

That "public" art is atrocious. Its like something you would find in a suburban shopping mall or at an airport.

Posted by: $an Franci$co at November 12, 2013 9:42 AM

Love the "lapel pin" comparison soccermom! It brought on a hairstyle flashback. I like the linear piece better anyways.

I agree that people will figure out the alleyways and their connectivity. There's a series of these privately owned shortcuts running north-south right through the middle of midtown Manhattan and they are heavily used.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at November 12, 2013 9:47 AM

Show restraint. This location has so much architectural visual interest -- that with Transbay, the proximity of other buildings, and the allee of trees, it's too busy and overly orchestrated and not the right place for art. There are fine places for the public art program -- this however, is not one of them.

Posted by: Invented at November 12, 2013 10:14 AM

I remember that lovely piece from a Jazz Festival in 1983. It sure has stood the test of time! I'm afraid the public will be confused as to which direction to find the food court.

Posted by: bcasus at November 12, 2013 11:29 AM

Note that (as I understand it) the alley is pictured in the last image, not the next-to-last. There are no doors or gates. It's obviously public.

Posted by: Alai at November 12, 2013 1:50 PM

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