Inside the Federal Building

The New York Times has provided our first glimpse inside the new 18-story Federal Building at Mission & 7th. Above, a photo of the lobby, with leaning columns designed to give a sense of airiness.

The Times says that our new building, with “its slender form and perforated metal skin [is] a clever play on notions of transparency in an era when the fear of terrorist attacks is prompting government agencies and corporations to turn their offices into armored compounds.”

The exterior is described as “mesmerizing”, and the interior “magical.”

When finished there will be a permanent light installation by artist James Turrell which will cause part of the building to glow in various colors at night.

The Times writer says that, for the building’s architect Thom Mayne, the building is experimental in design yet serves a “heartfelt social agenda.” “The concrete cylinder bollards that surround the plaza and protect it from car bombings are scattered in an informal pattern as double as stools; a cafe anchoring the southeast corner of the site will give government workers a chance to mingle with the masses at lunch hour.”

Formal dedication of the building will occur in July.