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The Embarcadero  

Pelli Clarke Pelli Archiects


San Francisco, California, USA

The promotion of environmental responsibility is a powerful complement to sustainable systems of design and construction. 110 The Embarcadero expresses this maxim with a direct message of sustainability.

The building is wrapped in living walls that not only provide tangible sustainable benefits but are also visually stunning. They evoke reflection on our relationship to the natural and built environment, and offer a model of how to marry architecture and nature. 110 The Embarcadero is a living billboard that conveys a message of ecological integrity while raising awareness of the importance of responsible environmental stewardship.

The vegetated wall defines 110 The Embarcadero as a truly green building.A vine-based living screen is integrated into the building’s exterior curtainwall and brings living system to this urban context. Plan material in this vertical landscape has been carefully selected to support multiple speciesof butterflies, birds and pollinating bees, providing an important linkage inthe downtown district to other habitats in the city and across the bay.

The living wall also provides many others important ecological roles for thebuildings: cleaning the air and water, filtering light and cooling the facade.

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The relationship between site and neighbors is of critical importance. Our design efforts were improved by our adjacency to an historic building, and the richness of the Audiffred Building demanded a design response that enhanced its character. We realized that 110 The Embarcadero needed to function at different scales in order to mediate between the pedestrian environment of the Audiffred Building and the modern city scale of the neighboring office towers.

The greatest responsibility a designer has is to make beautiful and livable cities. Every building has a role to play in the collaborative work of art that is the city and derives its strength from a direct connection to its place.

Our inspiration for 110 The Embarcadero springs from the unique nature of the site, and the opportunity to craft the building as a vital member of the neighborhood, the city and the greater Bay Area.


The vegetated roof serves many important functions. In addition to capturing rain water and reducing pollutants in stormwater that runs off into the Bay, the roof top garden will reduce heat gain to the building and the surroundings, as well as provide outdoor access with spectacular views of the city and the Bay for tenants and the public.

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