San Francisco’s new public safety campus brings together the community’s critical municipal services to establish an anchor within a busy city corridor in the Mission Bay district.
Balancing new and old with transparency and security, the complex conveys the openness of government through daylight-filled, inviting spaces.
The shared municipal building houses San Francisco’s police headquarters, a district police station and a 1920s masonry fire station renovated for community use.
Located alongside the busy Third Street corridor between Mission Rock and China Basin Streets, the building was designed to blend into the developing neighborhood while establishing a distinct presence befitting a significant civic landmark.
“An architectural machine of carefully balanced parts." — John King , Urban design critic, San Francisco Chronicle
The master plan unifies the new campus into a striking civic complex composed of two six-story wings and a new two-story fire station. The design preserves the historic Fire Station No. 30 to use as a community room and as a grounding element that juxtaposes and complements the surrounding modern architecture.
Variegated, high-performance glass reinforces transparency in government, filling the building with light and providing views of Mission Bay.
The building sits atop a secure concrete plinth base, communicating safety and security to the community.
An expansive entry plaza and south plaza connect with pedestrian-friendly landscaped sidewalks, reinforcing the historic fire station’s important role on the site. A courtyard connects staff and visitors to the community and nature.
Two 65-foot-wide office wings connect via a transparent east-west core to form an offset H-configuration that tempers the perceived massing from the street.
Public Art Collaboration
The site was previously part of a working waterfront district, before becoming a rail yard. The design honors the site’s central location and historic importance through its connectivity to surrounding public parks, strategic public open spaces and art.
Art defines the site and space, creating moments of monumentality for passersby and visitors. The San Francisco Arts Commission oversaw the installation of two public art pieces.
Paul Kos, a San Francisco-based artist, designed the First Responder Plaza with a bell, seven-point star and conifer to represent the police, fire and paramedic services.
Shimone Attie inscribed a poem honoring fallen officers in a tall, cylindrical glass display that acts as a lantern, capturing light and casting shadows from the poem’s words onto the lobby walls.
HOK collaborated on the design with Mark Cavagnero Associates.