San Francisco, CA
Design Architect + Interiors
Studio Gang Architects
Jason O'Rear & Bruce Damonte
The Mira residential tower is a geometric marvel and destination green space in the heart of downtown San Francisco. Due to its presence on the city’s skyline, the architect requested iconic night presence with no dedicated façade lighting, necessitating exemplary attention to dark sky, environmental footprint, and bird migration. At walkable outdoor spaces, environmental goals, visual comfort, wayfinding, egress, and budget were achieved with meticulous study of integrated linear lighting and pour-in-place concrete detailing.
To meet the architect’s request for iconic night presence without dedicated façade lighting, designers played off of the windows’ rhythmic geometric flow. Lantern-like interior spaces permeate the façade and change with occupancy, rendering the skyscraper’s nighttime presence. At the ground plane, technical beam studies were conducted to confirm in-grade up lights with controlled optics create a soft voluminous band of glowing light at the base, allowing the skyscraper to visually float with no detriment to bird safety or dark sky.
For walkable exterior spaces, visual comfort and wayfinding goals were met with custom details poured in low concrete planters and walls. Two phases of mockups tested and confirmed mounting heights for adequate egress light coverage and constructability for feeds. This integrated details allowed for continuous lines of light without gaps or shadows, enhancing tenant safety, comfort, and walkability at night. In addition, small in-grade up lights under benches further support safety and connection. At the roof deck, soft low-level light draws tenants outside, and tiny mushroom lights provide glow from within planters, supporting biophilia and maintaining uninterrupted city views. Nighttime control settings enhance safety for residents and support visual comfort from the units above. Mira is an exemplary study in how environmental requirements can be met creatively and in harmony with a meaningful design aesthetic.