The Uber Headquarters is designed to encourage vibrant life on the streets of its emerging San Francisco neighborhood.

In addition to supporting responsible development by locating it in the city near public transportation, the project’s key goal is to bring this developing area into step with the successful, human-scaled environments for which San Francisco is so famous. The 423,000 square foot project includes an eleven-story tower at 1455 Third Street and a six-story structure at 1515 Third Street, each with active facades that are part of a comprehensive approach to sustainability.

A feature known as the Commons—a striking network of circulation and gathering spaces—will bring the life of the building into contact with the life of the streets, and allow views of the living city to serve as a continual inspiration for the creative work taking place inside.

This new workplace, Uber’s first ground-up building, also marks a departure from the growing trend of an entirely open plan office. Instead, work stations are arranged in a series of smaller neighborhoods, each with access to shared support and collaborative work zones. Defined by their distinct palettes and elevated materiality, these neighborhoods echo the rich mix of lifestyles essential to the health of every urban environment—and every large company.

Taking advantage of San Francisco’s temperate climate, the sustainability features of the Uber buildings center on their innovative “breathing” façades—a computer-controlled system of operable windows that greatly reduce the need for mechanical ventilation. The full-building-height indoor/outdoor spaces of the Commons serves as a buffer zone between the unconditioned exterior and the conditioned interior office environment. That feature is an integral part of a whole-building environmental strategy that also includes on-site water collection and solar harvesting, with green space both on the roof and in the public park at ground level. The building is expected to meet LEED Platinum requirements when complete.