Moscone Center is an expansive collection of light-filled spaces that accommodates a variety of convention-related activities while making strong connections between the typically inward-looking visitor function with the public life of the city. Designed by SOM with Mark Cavagnero Associates, the expansion was constructed in multiple phases while the existing buildings remained operational.
Located in the heart of San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood—home to SFMOMA, El Museo Mexicano, Museum of the African Diaspora, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum—the Moscone Center spans close to 20 acres across two blocks on either side of Howard Street, sited between the frequently visited Yerba Buena Gardens and the Children’s Garden.
The Center gains a new civic presence through a clear horizontal form floating above the ground, framed in white metal and infilled with transparent and fritted glazing that bathes internal circulation in filtered light. These artfully patterned these facades create a distinct character while minimizing artificial lighting within. At the ground, formerly blank or recessed frontages now hug the sidewalks, with maximum transparency and permeability in a new Visitor’s Center, retail spaces, lobbies, and a 75-foot-tall circulating atrium. At the sky, a luminous sculptural roof runs the length of Howard Street and frames one of four new terraces, creating views of the skyline and emphasizing the building’s horizontal proportion.
Moscone Center is one of the most compact, efficient, and sustainable convention centers in the U.S. It has the lowest carbon footprint per visitor in the world and is the only convention space in the nation to achieve LEED Platinum. It also has the largest rooftop solar panel array in San Francisco, which provides nearly 20 percent of the Center’s power, and an aggressive groundwater and grey water system that allows the center to use less water than it did prior to expansion, with enough left over to irrigate the Yerba Buena Gardens and supply part of the city’s street cleaning fleet.