Surfacedesign - Uber HQ, immersive spaces and expressive yet functional landscape systems
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Uber HQ, immersive spaces and expressive yet functional landscape systems


Landscape  /  Completed

The concept is rooted in neighborhood and community and is inspired by the area beyond the project boundary as much as by the site within it. Situated at a historical San Francisco Bay shoreline and adjacent to the current SF Bay seawall, Pierpoint Lane has formal elements that embrace irregular and organic arrangements. Landscape transformation is inherently dynamic due to a multitude of factors including environmental and cultural. The design aims to reveal these histories through immersive spaces and expressive yet functional landscape systems. Since its conception the project embraced material richness and textural layering in pavements, site elements, and vegetation.

Located along a developing stretch of Mission Bay, Uber HQ’s public amenities are a catalyst to transform the district into a dynamic and pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with Pierpoint Park as the centerpiece. Streetscapes and road frontages seamlessly connect the active adjacent streets to the Park, enticing passersby to interrupt their walk along 3rd Street to experience this new typology of greenspace in Mission Bay. The site includes seismic and geotechnical complexities as well as saline landscape conditions, all of which are addressed proactively in the landscape. Setting beds for materials and planting were engineered to address differential settlement.

The building and site-wide environmental strategy includes water collection, solar harvesting, and green space on the roof and ground level. Stormwater management is integrated into the park seamlessly, with a series of bioretention planters featuring exuberant and seasonally changing planting that frames spaces for people to gather within the site. The project achieved LEED Gold, and won at the 2022 Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Awards.

Pierpoint Lane introduces a public park and mews to San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood as part of Uber’s new headquarters. Gathering spaces on Pierpoint Lane include seating nooks, stone outcroppings, and a lawn amphitheater are interspersed throughout the site providing the Uber workforce, Mission Bay community, and visitors alike places of respite amid the energetic urban context. A strategic selection of materials and layout promotes intuitive circulation while planting provides for a varied, immersive experience. Diagonal bands of linear stone cobbles break down pavement areas and define space. Playful bronze sculptures provide seating and visual interest. A rich material palette of stone, concrete, and monolithic stone features weave through the site creating a sense of exploration and excitement that celebrates the tectonic regional context.
Through a sequential procession through the landscape, colorful groundcover plants harmonize with the spatial arrangement of trees and shrubs. The open-space planting is the people’s garden, a public park that provides space to pause from the surrounding urban pressures. With the seasonal transformation and floriferous display of the upland slopes and the lawn bowl framing the sky through the ring of Cajeput Paperbark trees, this portion of the campus includes the most diverse palette of trees, shrubs, groundcovers, grasses, and perennials in the project.

"The overall design is focused on movement both vertically, via stairs in an open atrium, and horizontally from building to building. Mission Bay buildings 1 & 2 feature an operable facade that allows natural light and air into the building’s atrium."


 San Francisco
 California, USA
 Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Uber
 Campus, Public Park
 9040 mq
 SHoP Architects, Quezada Architecture
 Architecture: SHoP Architects ; Landscape Architecture: Surfacedesign, Inc. ; MEP Engineer: Alfatech ; Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti ; Civil Engineer: Freyer & Laureta, Inc. ; Lighting: Niteo
 Truebeck Construction
 Landscape Contractor: Brightview Landscape Development, Inc.
 Marion Brenner


Surfacedesign is a landscape architecture and urban design firm based in San Francisco, California. This internationally award-winning practice focuses on creating dynamic parks, campuses, plazas, waterfronts, civic landscapes and private gardens. Under the leadership of James A. Lord, Roderick Wyllie and Geoff di Girolamo, a multidisciplinary staff of landscape architects, urban designers and architects provide clients with a wide range of services.

Integral to the ideology of the practice, Surfacedesign focuses on cultivating a sense of connection to the built and natural world, pushing people to engage with the landscape in new ways. Our approach emphasizes and celebrates the unique context and imaginative potential of each project. The studio’s design process is rooted in asking novel questions and listening to a site and its users — a process that has led to engaging and inspiring landscapes that are rugged, contemporary and crafted.

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