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50 United Nations Plaza Project Breaks Ground

Last week Cliff Garten joined San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) for the kick-off of the renovation and green upgrade of the historic Federal Building at 50 United Nations Plaza. Within the context of the adaptive reuse and sustainable building systems being employed by the GSA in the project, Cliff Garten's project reframes the entire courtyard as a site-specific artwork, employing strategies of recycled concrete sculpture and pervious ground plane throughout. The courtyard design transforms the classical symmetry of the original design by Arthur Brown Jr. (the architect of City Hall and three other Civic Center landmarks) by retaining its main axial connections and inserting a sculptural matrix of paving, seating, fountains, and planting.