San Francisco Federal Building Gallery     ::calvin lu:.


Karmen decided to take her parents to see a broadway show in at Golden Gate Theater on a weekday. I decided to come along but skipped the broadway part of the day. I opted instead to revisit the San Francisco Federal Building. This time, being a weekday, I was able to enter the building. I was pleasantly surprised that I was allowed to photograph the innards of the building as long as I didn't venture into any restricted areas, which was actually most of the interior.

The building has an interesting response to "encourage" people to exercise more by making the main elevators express elevators that stop only on every third floor. Of course, the ADA requires that every floor must be accessible by an elevator or a proper ramp so there were a second set of elevators that went to every floor, weakening the entire concept. I would have liked to have seen a ramp solution for a more pure concept. Also, the main staircase is not continuous; at every elevator stop, you can only walk up or down one floor, which I definitely did not like. I loved the abyss-like main atrium that takes the visitors to the center of the building, where the vertical circulation is, but unfortunately the main staircase that leads to the second floor is extremely anticlamatic. There wasn't any other staircase that led to any other floors; just a typical lobby space with private rooms on either end. It was effectively a dead end for someone not working on the second floor. It reminded me of (although the execution wasn't nearly as bad) the piss-poor rendition of the Seattle Art Museum by Robert Venturi.

The building would have been much better had it built upon and hold no compromises to the abyss concept of the atrium. I must also take points away for the partial execution of the elevator stop every three floors concept. It's a little too cutsey for the "bad boy of architecture".

Artistic concentration: ?

Canon 300D
Canon EF 17-40f/4L
Canon EF 50f/1.4