555 Mission Sculpture Garden

Designers: Hargreaves Associates | City: San Francisco, CA | Project Type: urban plaza, sculpture garden
Date Visited: 11.03.12

Locations: 555 Mission St San Francisco, CA
Size: 11,000 sq. ft.
Official Opening Date: 2008

Located at the base of San Francisco’s first LEED Gold office tower, the 555 Mission Sculpture Garden is one of the city’s most beloved downtown spaces. Designed by Hargreaves Associates, this ‘garden of light’ was designed to incorporate a number of landscape elements, sculptural features, and site furniture to contribute to the site’s LEED certification.

Starting at Mission St., pedestrians are drawn into the space by Moonrise, a trio of three large and whimsical head sculptures by Swiss sculptor Ugo Rondinone, set against the backdrop of a living green wall. As you enter the space, the high level of design detail becomes apparent in the clean lines, layers of textures, and artsy, sculpture-like benches. Immediately to the left rises Jonathan Borofsky’s Human Structures sculpture, a stacked tower of sixty-two, brightly painted steel figures. The sunnier back half of the plaza contains a small grove of ginkgo trees with beautiful custom benches.

Small, yet charming, this small urban plaza is one of my favorite POPOS (privately owned public spaces). Despite the fact that it was a Saturday afternoon in the city’s financial district, I still found people visiting the small plaza–a mark of its success.

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