In news that is likely to annoy all those of us who like tall buildings and despise San Franciscans' general aversion to them, a revamped design for the Transbay Tower was just unveiled from architect Cesar Pelli and the Hines development team which shortens the tower by 200 feet, and adds a 150-foot sculptural, transparent metalwork frame to the top. The tower would still be 60 stories and 1,070 feet, 200 feet taller than the Transamerica pyramid, but not the soaring 1,200-foot tower that was originally proposed, in what seems to be a compromise to appease shadow-obsessed NIMBYs.

The plan contains 1.35 million square feet of office space, down from 1.8 million, and still includes a residential component. Thankfully, the design would still be 52 feet taller than the US Bank tower in L.A., which is currently the tallest building west of the Mississippi.

The biggest new detail of the design is the skin, which would be glass surrounded by a lattice of pearlescent white metal that Pelli describes as "very taut, as if the skin were tense all around ... [and] the corners will give it a glint at all times, even on cloudy days.

Chron architecture critic John King sounds positive about it all, but we're still pissed about the height, which seems to be a compromise based on complaints from the environmental review, including the age-old one about shadows — the semi-transparent crown addresses the shadow issue too. For god's sake, people, can we not live with some shadows so we can have some real, tall architecture?

Construction, at the earliest, would begin in late 2013, with a possible opening in 2016.


All previous Transbay coverage.