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Transamerica Pyramid

Identification

Transamerica Pyramid
The Spire
118715

Map

Structure in General

skyscraper
existing [completed]
composite structure
mat foundation
quartz
curtain wall
white
futurism
pyramid

Usages

commercial office
mercantile

Facts

  • The largest floor is the 5th, with  21,025 ft², while the 48th floor is the smallest, with only 2,025 ft².
  • The "wings" which start at the 29th floor are necessary near the top of the pyramid to support elevators on the east side and a stairwell and smoke tower on the west side.
  • Transamerica wanted a taller building (1,150 feet/350.5m) but the city planning commission would not approve it because it interfered with precious views of San Francisco Bay from Nob Hill.
  • Excavation depth is 52 ft.
  • Excavation commenced in December 1969, with the first steel placed in November 1970.
  • The Virtual Observation Deck has four cameras at the very top of the spire pointed in all directions. In the Lobby there are four monitors broadcasting the images 24 hours a day.
  • With 3,678 windows it takes a month to wash them.
  • Components of the base include approximately 16,000 cubic yards of concrete, encasing more than 300 miles of steel reinforcement rods.
  • During the 7.1-magnitude Bay Area earthquake in 1989, the top story swayed nearly a foot from side to side.
  • The lower portion of the spire encloses mechanical equipment.
  • Tallest building in the United States west of the Mississippi River from 1972-1974; surpassed by the Aon Center in Los Angeles.
  • The Pyramid, no longer the company headquarters, serves as Transamerica's corporate logo and is strongly identified with the corporation.
  • The foundation consists of a steel and concrete block that sits 52 feet underground and is designed to move during earthquakes.
  • The Pyramid lobby features the work of many artists through a rotating art exhibition.
  • The top floor (48th) features a tenants-only conference room with 360-degree views of the city and bay.
  • First occupancy was during the summer of 1972.
  • In 1969, and throughout its construction, the boarding surrounding the emerging site boldly boasted: A San Francisco landmark since 1972.
  • Only two elevators reach the top floor.
  • This the tallest building in San Francisco, and the 4th tallest building on the west coast of the United States.
  • The exterior's quartz-aggregate panels are reinforced with connecting rods at four places on every floor, and the spacing between the panels allows lateral movement in case of an earthquake.
  • The "spire" is the upper 212 feet (64.6m), and is covered with vertically louvered aluminum panels.

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More Information

Location

600 Montgomery Street
94104
Northeast
San Francisco
California
U.S.A.

Technical Data

853.01 ft
853.01 ft
853.01 ft
48
1969
1972
18
280
$44,000,000

Involved Companies

MEP engineering, facade consultant, general contractor, mechanical engineering, owner, property management, real estate agent, structural engineering

Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings