Rolling into San Francisco’s new bus terminal has all the vibes of docking with a googie space station—the weird, special bridge into the hangar, the orange color accents behind a white superstructure, glowing information screens everywhere.
The heiroglyphically obtuse wayfinding signage only adds to the effect.
The station is a white whale eight years in the making (and that’s just the construction bit), a crystalline Moby Dick with Penrose-tile skin breaching the downtown grid and drafting the psychogeographic currents around glass-and-steel towers.
I like it; San Francisco feels new there, and even though a building that’s aesthetically to my taste might not be to yours, there’s urban glory in bustle, in elegant skyways and in clotted mazes of streets opening onto a broad pedestrian plaza.
I like the aluminum screen, and I like the orange walls inside, though I’m suspicious about how well they’ll age as color fashions change and urban soot and fungus go looking for new substrate.
The big, main open space of the station has a beautiful tile floor under a grand light well, and its high escalator makes it feel like a place where a human can make a big entrance or a big exit.