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Project

GSW Office Towers

Client

Alexandria Real Estate, Golden State Warriors

Location

San Francisco, CA

Lighting Designer

PritchardPeck Lighting

Architects

Kendall Heaton Associates, Pfau Long Architects, SHoP Architects, SWA Group

Photography

Jason O'Rear

IES SF Lux Outdoor Award of Excellence

As part of San Francisco’s new Golden State Warriors complex, this pair of office towers challenged the design team to integrate an exterior lighting experience that vanishes into the architecture, draws visitors into the complex and energizes the space. The tower façade illumination activates a former industrial port site while being sensitive to the neighborhood’s hospital helicopter traffic, bird safety, and dark sky. Soffits at the shopping districts are bathed with warm light creating a rhythmic, safe, and inviting entry experience to the plaza and arena. Every aspect of the luminaires was carefully coordinated to leverage invisibility and visibility.

The new Chase Center complex renovates a former industrial port site by creating an exciting new community gathering space in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco. The lighting design concept for the two office towers West of the arena plays on an outward & inward approach. The outward facing façade lighting design draws the public into the complex and the inward facing retail soffits funnel guests into the arena for an energizing lighting experience.

From afar, the façade lights illuminating the golden panels of the building direct the eye and manipulate flow. The designers first challenge was how do you seamlessly light a 41’ wide x 15’ tall panel with varying architectural conditions while avoiding glare from the adjacent elevator lobby, afar, and safe for helicopters to drop safely onto the hospital next door? The designers tested the lighting concepts through lighting calculations and vetted the products with mockups. Leveraging the shape of the canted architecture, the designers were able to create a lovely gradient of illumination across the panels with no light trespass.

The designers worked in tandem with the Architect to carve out space for the façade lights. Pockets were detailed with the curtain wall fabricator to house the lights and a full-scale mockup was built to review wiring, access, products, and concept. The designers made tweaks to the products and final detail, resulting in a perfectly engineered wash of light on the golden façade panels that create a striking element that’s not disruptive and beautifully contrasts the sleek office tower glazing.

The lighting designers developed a custom extrusion that became an integral part of the building soffit shell to conceal fixtures that graze the golden soffit with warm light. The designers planned for efficient installation, access, power, and control gear concealment. Every element was carefully thought through resulting in no socket shadow, no glare, no splay on columns and no opportunities for birds to nest. The silhouetted extrusion provides a rhythm that aligns with the serrated edges of the building façade and illuminates soffits with no visible fixtures.

Custom-mounted cylinders were designed into the slat soffit system to provide consistent light levels for the varying soffit heights. Careful attention was made to regress the cylinders to avoid light splay and reduce visibility of the luminaires.

A series of dark and light portals with integrated lighting frame the retail entries adjacent to the lively plaza and provide contrast to the rhythmic soffit beyond. The parking garage dark entry portal is designed with color changing luminaires to welcome event visitors.

The lighting designers developed clever ways to illuminate architectural elements and expertly control the light resulting in a vibrant & welcoming experience

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