Federal Building

Downtown, Civic Center & SoMa

The groundbreaking green design of this government-office building by 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Thom Mayne means major savings in energy – and taxpayer dollars. Open layouts eliminate internal political battles over corner offices, and provide direct sunlight, natural ventilation and views for 90% of workstations. Critics call it a fortress and employees call it chilly, but the building adds green distinction to the otherwise bland industrial skyline of SoMa warehouses.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Downtown, Civic Center & SoMa attractions

1. Root Division

0.08 MILES

Get back to your creative roots at this arts nonprofit, which hosts curated shows on themes ranging from garden art to calligraphy made with human-hair…

2. United Nations Plaza

0.09 MILES

This brick-paved triangle with an often-dry fountain awkwardly commemorates the signing of the UN charter in San Francisco. Most days, UN Plaza offers…

3. SF Camerawork

0.17 MILES

Since 1974, this nonprofit art organization has championed experimental photo-based imagery beyond classic B&W prints and casual digital snapshots. Since…

4. Luggage Store Gallery

0.19 MILES

Like a dandelion pushing through sidewalk cracks, this plucky nonprofit gallery has brought signs of life to one of the Tenderloin's toughest blocks for…

5. San Francisco Main Library

0.21 MILES

A grand light well illuminates SF's favorite subjects: poetry in the Robert Frost Collection, civil rights in the Hormel LGBTQIA Center, SF music zines in…

6. Asian Art Museum

0.23 MILES

Imaginations race from subtle Chinese ink paintings to seductive Hindu temple carvings and from elegant Islamic calligraphy to cutting-edge Japanese…

8. Twitter Headquarters

0.32 MILES

Market St's traffic-stopping 1937 Mayan deco landmark was built to accommodate 300 wholesale furniture-design showrooms – but, a decade ago, fewer than 30…