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Sustainable Design

Published January 26, 2022


Grand Central Station of the West

Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings on the Salesforce Transit Center.


By Jen Levisen


In a city as architecturally significant as San Francisco, it’s a considerable feat to make an already established landmark even more significant. Enter Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings, and the Salesforce Transit Center.


“When we first addressed the design of the Salesforce Transit Center, we saw that the building had to be both a gateway to San Francisco and a good supportive neighbor to the buildings adjacent to it. We were committed to the idea that this large-scale structure could be both humane and civilized,” said Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects’ co-founder and senior design principal, Fred Clarke, FAIA.


Reopened in 2018, The Salesforce Transit Center was re-imagined as a transportation hub as part of an inclusive, urban experience. Called the “Grand Central Station of the West,” the multimodal facility spans four blocks, encompasses 1.2 million square feet, and can accommodate up to 45 million riders annually.

“From its spacious light-filled Grand Hall, to the five-acre Salesforce Park, the building embraces and extends the public realm, welcoming everyone to this new urban center,” Clarke said. “Its exterior wall and art program symbolize the innovation and creativity of the Bay Area.”


Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects to achieve LEED Gold certification, the building’s exterior is enveloped in a gracefully curving cloud of laser-cut metal that elegantly balances natural light and shade. The façade’s lace-like veil features a mathematically derived, continuous nonrepeating Penrose Pattern. Enhancing their delicately patterned, dynamic appearance, Architectural Systems, Inc. (ASI) finished the metal using a pearlescent White Shimmer in Fluropon® Effects Nova by Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings.

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About Fluropon®


Whether selecting neutral, bright, or pastel palettes in subtle tones or bold hues, Fluropon Effects Nova coatings deliver vivid sparkle coupled with the color integrity and high performance of other 70% PVDF resin-based architectural coatings by Sherwin-Williams. Visible, yet small, silver metallic flakes in the finish reflect light and impart Nova’s intense sparkle.


Achieving the intended aesthetic and reliable performance for the Transit Center’s numerous architectural aluminum products, several 70% PVDF Fluropon finishes and colors also were specified. Along with Fluropon Effects Nova in White Shimmer, Fluropon Special in Bone White and Fluropon Classic II in Silversmith and Pewter colors all contributed to the Transit Center’s appeal. The Silversmith and Pewter colors further accentuate the natural beauty of metal in the Fluropon Classic II’s two-coat, light-reflective mica/metallic finishes.


Beyond their eye-catching appearance, Fluropon 70% PVDF coatings provide outstanding color and gloss retention, withstand extreme weathering, and resist dirt, stains, chalking, and fading. With consideration to the Transit Center’s high-traffic, coastal setting, these coatings also are tested to meet or exceed the industry’s most stringent performance specification, AAMA 2605 for exceptional resistance to UV, humidity, and salt spray.

The distinctive Penrose Pattern, discovered by mathematical physicist and Oxford University professor Roger Penrose, generates a rhombus-shaped tiled design. The exterior wall cladding is perforated with an artistically rendered, scientifically inspired pattern that results in 37% of the awning system’s surface remaining open. The small, plentiful openings allow diffused light to fill the interior.

The patterned, perforated, awning system’s 140,000 square feet of aluminum panels were fabricated by McClean Iron Works. Approximately 44 feet tall and wrapping the entire four-block Transit Facility, Crown Corr installed both the awning panel system along with 93,700 square feet of aluminum unitized curtainwall.


The architects incorporated sustainable design features throughout the center, such as natural lighting and ventilation, geothermal regulation, and greywater recycling. Further supporting LEED Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council, the Transit Center also reduces greenhouse gas emissions significantly. At the time of the project opening, the annual energy consumption was projected to be 50% lower than the 2008 Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards. Its associated carbon emissions were projected to be reduced by approximately 40%.

Owned and operated by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, the Transit Center offers four upper stories, two lower levels, and more than 100,000 square feet of shopping and dining spaces, an amphitheater, a children’s play area, a gondola, walking trails, and a 5.4-acre rooftop public park.

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Fluropon 70% PVDF Coatings


Fluropon is Sherwin-Williams' flagship 70% PVDF coating system for architectural metal building products. Its superior durability and color retention keeps your building facade looking new for decades to come. Available in over 50,000 colors, Fluropon meets the industry's most rigorous standards including AAMA 2605. Learn More >


Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings

Exterior Finish, Façade and Siding, Roofing, Glass Architectural Walls, Cladding
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