Tall & Urban News

Iconic San Francisco Building Renovation Includes New Beacon Installation

Transamerica Pyramid Center. Photo by Chris Leipelt on Unsplash
Transamerica Pyramid Center. Photo by Chris Leipelt on Unsplash
08 May 2024 | San Francisco, United States

The iconic Transamerica Pyramid Center in San Francisco, completed in 1972, is undergoing a major renovation, and one of the most notable updates is the installation of a new beacon atop the structure.  As part of a $400 million USD makeover led by luxury developer Michael Shvo, the building originally designed by William L. Pereira & Associates, is being transformed into a modern hub for offices, amenities, and public spaces.

The beacon, set to become a 5,600-watt dynamic LED lighting system, will be a striking addition to the city's skyline. Designed by lighting firm L'Observatoire International, the beacon aims to maintain the pyramid's iconic status while introducing cutting-edge technology.

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According the project's lighting designer, it will have similar features that resemble the dancing jewel atop the Eiffel Tower, capable of changing colors and creating a dynamic visual experience. In addition to the beacon, LED technology will also illuminate the sides of the spire, similar to other iconic buildings like the Salesforce Tower and the Empire State Building.

The installation marks a significant milestone in the 48-story building's renovation, led by architects Foster + Partners. It includes a range of upgrades to enhance the building's appeal and functionality. From a redesigned ground level to improved amenities and public spaces, the Transamerica Pyramid Center is poised to reclaim its position as a landmark destination in San Francisco.

Despite the excitement surrounding the renovation, accessing the top of the pyramid remains a daunting task, as noted by The San Francisco Standard. Climbing 236 vertical steps from the 48th floor, visitors are treated to panoramic views of the city but must navigate narrow passageways and steep staircases. While the ascent may be challenging, reaching the new beacon offers a unique perspective on the city below.

The building's renovation represents a blend of preservation and innovation, honoring the building's architectural legacy while embracing modern advancements. As the project progresses, the structure is set to once again captivate residents and visitors alike with its timeless allure and newfound vitality.

Learn more about this story at The San Francisco Standard.