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View Poll Results: Which transbay tower design scheme do you like best?
#1 Richard Rogers 39 7.89%
#2 Cesar Pelli 98 19.84%
#3 SOM 357 72.27%
Voters: 494. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1861  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2008, 10:29 PM
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If only that meant a resurrection of SOM's tower design. Who knows, anythings possible I guess. Hell, I even liked their terminal design better, but oh well.
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  #1862  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2008, 3:44 AM
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That's the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) viewpoint. As far as they're concerned, they are selling the tower rights to Hines and it's up to Hines to see it through with the architects of their choice. The TJPA has selected the Pelli design for the terminal. That's the TJPA's project. The tower is now (technically, it's still "soon-to-be") Hines' project.

Regardless, I can't imagine why Hines would dump Pelli at this point and hire a new architect to re-design the tower. You have to think they are perfectly happy with the work Pelli has done so far on the tower as they've been involved all along. Plus, that would mean sinking even more money into the project for them.

I don't think you can read anything more into this than the TJPA basically saying: once the check from Hines clears, the tower isn't our concern.
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  #1863  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2008, 4:47 AM
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Originally Posted by SFView View Post
Actually, I think of the "maybe 6 of us" regular posters here, we all care about the San Francisco skyline; but there are probably dozens of others who do not post here that care just as much or more.
OK, you win--there are "dozens" of San Franciscans, out of 800,000, who care about the skyline.
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  #1864  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2008, 4:54 AM
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Originally Posted by peanut gallery View Post
That's the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) viewpoint. As far as they're concerned, they are selling the tower rights to Hines and it's up to Hines to see it through with the architects of their choice. The TJPA has selected the Pelli design for the terminal. That's the TJPA's project. The tower is now (technically, it's still "soon-to-be") Hines' project.

Regardless, I can't imagine why Hines would dump Pelli at this point and hire a new architect to re-design the tower. You have to think they are perfectly happy with the work Pelli has done so far on the tower as they've been involved all along. Plus, that would mean sinking even more money into the project for them.

I don't think you can read anything more into this than the TJPA basically saying: once the check from Hines clears, the tower isn't our concern.
Except that's disingenuous. No 1000+ ft tower is going to get built in San Francisco that hasn't been massaged all to h*ll and back through the public input process just so things like shadows on parks etc don't slip through. There's got to be an EIR and the Supervisors will have final approval. The developer, Hines, can't just change designs halfway through. They can change, but then the entitling process would have to start over. Frankly, if they want to build as rapidly as possible, I think they'd be foolish to switch now. If they want to stall, on the other hand . . . . But then why would they be willing to pay $300 M or whatever it was? There's the time value of money to consider.

I think you are right that it's just the TJPA picking nits.
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  #1865  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2008, 5:15 AM
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It's reassuring to hear that it is likely that hines will keep the pelli design! I actually really like the tower! It is very classy in my view.
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  #1866  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2008, 3:03 PM
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Except that's disingenuous. No 1000+ ft tower is going to get built in San Francisco that hasn't been massaged all to h*ll and back through the public input process just so things like shadows on parks etc don't slip through. There's got to be an EIR and the Supervisors will have final approval. The developer, Hines, can't just change designs halfway through. They can change, but then the entitling process would have to start over. Frankly, if they want to build as rapidly as possible, I think they'd be foolish to switch now. If they want to stall, on the other hand . . . . But then why would they be willing to pay $300 M or whatever it was? There's the time value of money to consider.

I think you are right that it's just the TJPA picking nits.
Right, but that approval process with the city will not involve the TJPA. It will be up to Hines to drive it and make adjustments as needed for approval. I think they are basically trying to draw the line between themselves and Hines as far as who is taking the tower through the city's approval process. This also serves to clarify their role versus the city's role. The TJPA will have no say in how the tower design is massaged and finalized (except for where the tower is integrated with the terminal). Whereas the city will have tons of say, as you pointed out and we all know too well.
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  #1867  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2008, 4:55 PM
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OK, you win--there are "dozens" of San Franciscans, out of 800,000, who care about the skyline.
...FUNNY guy! Just as long that as of those "dozens," the majority of them support height rather than the opposite; that would be better don't you think...?
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  #1868  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2008, 3:23 AM
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I've noticed these guys drilling around the perimeter of the Transbay Terminal this week. Some early test drilling perhaps?

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  #1869  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2008, 3:39 AM
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Yes they are early testing the soil!Wonderful I can't wait for the tower and terminal to go up!
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  #1870  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2008, 4:45 AM
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Nice observation p.g. If that is indeed early testing, we should save that picture so that when this mega project is complete, we can look back and say "Thats how and when all this began."

I've also noted they changed the thread title. Whomever did that, thanks. I'm guessing adding that extra foot to the height was intentional.
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  #1871  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2008, 11:04 PM
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and why was the thread title added by a foot?
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  #1872  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2008, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by peanut gallery View Post
that approval process with the city will not involve the TJPA.
Except that arguably one of the most important (and certainly loudest) voices serves on both, I believe--Chris Daly.
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  #1873  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2008, 12:40 AM
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Does chris daly support the construction of this tower and project?
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  #1874  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2008, 5:17 AM
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If only we already had the ability to deal more easily with the shadow problem over open spaces from buildings like the Transbay Tower at over 1000 feet in San Francisco, but there still is hope. If not in time for Transbay, maybe other even taller buildings will be less of a problem in San Francisco someday. If would also be nice if the cloaking effect can be turned on or off during certain times for such buildings.

From: http://www.comcast.net/articles/news...ibility.Cloak/
Quote:
Scientists closer to developing invisibility cloak

Mon Aug 11, 8:03 PM EDT

WASHINGTON — Scientists say they are a step closer to developing materials that could render people and objects invisible. Researchers have demonstrated for the first time they were able to cloak three-dimensional objects using artificially engineered materials that redirect light around the objects.

Previously, they only have been able to cloak very thin two-dimensional objects.

The findings, by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, led by Xiang Zhang, are to be released later this week in the journals Nature and Science.

The new work moves scientists a step closer to hiding people and objects from visible light, which could have broad applications, including military ones.

People can see objects because they scatter the light that strikes them, reflecting some of it back to the eye. Cloaking uses materials, known as metamaterials, to deflect radar, light or other waves around an object, like water flowing around a smooth rock in a stream.

Metamaterials are mixtures of metal and circuit board materials such as ceramic, Teflon or fiber composite. They are designed to bend visible light in a way that ordinary materials don't. Scientists are trying to use them to bend light around objects so they don't create reflections or shadows.

It differs from stealth technology, which does not make an aircraft invisible but reduces the cross-section available to radar, making it hard to track.

The research was funded in part by the U.S. Army Research Office and the National Science Foundation's Nano-Scale Science and Engineering Center.
From: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...ity-cloak.html
Quote:
Invisibility-Cloak Materials Bend Light "Backward"
Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News
August 12, 2008

Invisibility cloaks may be a bit closer to reality, researchers say, thanks to the development of two new materials that are the first to bend visible light the "wrong" way in three dimensions.

The so-called metamaterials are artificial composites designed to manipulate light in ways that natural materials can't—in these cases by refracting it backward. (Related: "The Power of Light" in National Geographic magazine.)

If their cloaking capabilities are fully realized, metamaterials could make an object invisible by bending light waves so that they curve around the object and then reconnect, seemingly unaltered, on the other side—similar to the way water flows around a boulder.

"Of course cloaking captures everybody's attention, but these papers aren't [just] about cloaking," said Xiang Zhang, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and head of the research teams publishing related papers in two different journals this week.

"[The studies] are about the ability to engineer these material properties that never exist in nature. With that ability one can do many things, and cloaking is only one of them."

Such materials could also boost the power of microchips and antennas and allow the creation of "superlenses" that could image objects smaller than the wavelength of light, the study authors report.

Negative Refraction One new metamaterial, described in Science, is a microscopic arrangement of silver wires—each about 20 times thinner than a human hair—embedded in aluminum oxide.

The other metamaterial, detailed online in Nature, is a layer cake of alternating nanoscale strips of silver and magnesium fluoride that were cut into a fishnet pattern.

Both materials exhibit negative refraction—bending visible light in a different direction than expected in nature.

A pencil sticking out a glass of water, for example, normally appears slightly bent at the point where it meets the water's surface but is still seen submerged. With negative refraction, the pencil would appear to stick back out of the water.

Previous metamaterials have been able to achieve a cloaking effect only in two dimensions in larger microwave wavelengths that are not visible to humans.

In addition to having 3-D negative refraction for a broader visible light spectrum, the new advances help overcome the sticky problem of energy loss.

Previous metamaterials actually absorbed most of the light, rather than bending it away, reducing the "invisible" properties. The new materials were designed to keep energy away from the most absorbent materials.

"It's like when you try to cross a river and keep your feet dry. You may jump across stones and cross without getting your feet wet," study leader Zhang said.

"That's exactly what we did. We tried to engineer these materials such that energy passing through is hopping through [other materials] and not the metal—because in the metal you have a big energy loss."

Scaling Up

David Schurig, a physicist and metamaterial expert at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, called the types of materials discussed by both papers "probably the most exciting metamaterials in existence today."

"Even in their current state, or maybe a few generations [later], they could have applications in optical communications or imaging," added Schurig, who was not involved with the research.

But, he noted, efforts to cloak anything above microscopic size are likely quite a ways off.

"You want to cloak things that are big, otherwise they are already essentially invisible, because they are [microscopic]," Schurig said.

"To cloak a person, you need metamaterial that's on that length scale, and that's much, much bigger than what [these papers] have demonstrated."
From: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12961080/
Quote:
Here’s how to make an invisibility cloak
Theoretical cloaking device could soon become reality (sort of)

By Alan Boyle
Science editor
MSNBC
updated 11:03 a.m. PT, Thurs., May. 25, 2006


The black lines in this drawing show the path that light rays would take through a theoretical cloaking device. The device's metamaterial would be patterned in such a way to route the rays around the cloaked sphere.

Researchers say they are rapidly closing in on new types of materials that can throw a cloak of invisibility around objects, fulfilling a fantasy that is as old as ancient myths and as young as "Star Trek" and the Harry Potter novels.

Unlike those tales of fictional invisibility, the real-life technologies usually have a catch. Nevertheless, limited forms of invisibility might be available to the military sooner than you think.

"We're very confident that at radar frequencies, these materials can be implemented on a time scale of 18 months or so," John Pendry of Imperial College London told MSNBC.com.

Pendry's research team is one of two groups whose results were posted Thursday on the journal Science's Web site in advance of print publication. The two papers lay out different theoretical methods for creating invisibility, not only for radar but potentially for optical wavelengths as well.

Still more teams are out there with ideas to make things invisible — using methods ranging from superlenses that cancel out the light from nearby objects to actual cloaks onto which video can be projected as a moving camouflage. The most exotic technologies involve "metamaterials," blends of polymers and tiny coils or wires that twist the paths of electromagnetic radiation.

"There are recipes for controlling metamaterials," explained University of Pennsylvania electrical engineer Nader Engheta, who published his own invisibility recipe last year. "Metamaterials are very interesting products."

The latest research papers describe how metamaterial could be fabricated to bend light in carefully curved paths around the object to be hidden, so that an observer would see right through it — or more accurately, right around it — to the other side.


This diagram shows how light rays could theoretically be bent around a concealed object, making it seem as if an observer were looking straight through the object.

"The cloak would act like you've opened up a hole in space," Duke University's David Smith, one of Pendry's co-authors, explained in a news release. "All light or other electromagnetic waves are swept around the area, guided by the metamaterial to emerge on the other side as if they had passed through an empty volume of space."

Pendry told MSNBC.com that the cloak wouldn't reflect any light, and wouldn't cast a shadow either. "It would be like Peter Pan had lost his shadow," he said, referring to the fictional character who had to have his shadow stitched back on.

Dreams come true, with a few catches
Theoretically at least, the metamaterial could work like the helmet of invisibility celebrated in Greek myth, or the cloaking device that hid Romulan and Klingon vessels in the "Star Trek" series, or the invisibility cloak that came in so handy for Harry Potter in J.K. Rowlings' novels.

"Fiction has predicted the course of science for some time. ... Maybe these Harry Potter novels were ahead of their time," Pendry said, half-jokingly.

Of course, there are some scientific catches that the tale-tellers never had to worry about:

* For a total invisibility effect, the waves passing closest to the cloaked object would have to be bent in such a way that they would appear to exceed relativity's light speed limit. Fortunately, there's a loophole in Albert Einstein's rules of the road that allows smooth pulses of light to undergo just such a phase shift.
* The invisibility effect would work only for a specific range of wavelengths. "There is a price to be paid if you want a thin cloak, in that it operates only over a narrow range of frequencies," Pendry said.
* The cloak could be made to cover a volume of any shape, but "you can't flap your cloak," Pendry said. Moving the material around would spoil the effect.
* The tiny structures embedded in the metamaterial would have to be smaller than the wavelength of the electromagnetic rays you wanted to bend. That's a tall order for optical invisibility, because the structures would have to be on the scale of nanometers, or billionths of a meter. It's far easier to create radar invisibility, Pendry said: "You're talking millimeters" — that is, thousandths of a meter.

The radar application is of great interest to military outfits such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which funded Pendry's team. "Radar is a defense technology, and if you wish to hide from it, this sort of cloak would be a good way of doing it," he said. Such a technology would be "far superior to stealth," he said.

If optical cloaks could be designed, that would be of interest to the military as well. "One obvious thing would be that you could construct a hutch in which you could hide a tank, and the hutch would make it appear as though the tank wasn't there. ... You could also think of weightier things, like submarines or battleships, where you might want to put some of this stuff," Pendry said.

Civilian applications, too
There'd be plenty of applications in the civilian world as well, even for rudimentary cloaking devices. For example, you could create receptacles to shield sensitive medical devices from disruption by MRI scanners, or build cloaks to route cellphone signals around obstacles. "You may wish to put a cloak over the refinery that is blocking your view of the bay," Duke University's David Schurig, another of Pendry's co-authors, was quoted as saying.

While Pendry's team proposed constructing all-over cloaking devices, the other research paper published Thursday describes a simpler method that would involve shaping the metamaterials into cylindrical cloaking devices. The method could also work to block sound waves — like the cone of silence on the "Get Smart" TV show, but not as silly.

The catch here is that the invisibility effect would work only if you were on the same plane as the hidden object. "You could look on top of it, and look inside the cloak," said the paper's author, Ulf Leonhardt of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Leonhardt told MSNBC.com that "potentially a mixture of the two schemes will lead to a practical design." He said the paper from Pendry's team gave him some additional ideas to work with.

"I read it for the first time just last Friday, and I've come up already with something new," he said.
© 2008 MSNBC Interactive
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  #1875  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2008, 5:29 AM
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viewguysf to SFView: Huh??!! If a building will be invisble, what's the point in building it, no matter how tall it is??

[OK, OK, I can actually take a joke!]
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  #1876  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2008, 5:43 AM
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viewguysf to SFView: Huh??!! If a building will be invisble, what's the point in building it, no matter how tall it is??

[OK, OK, I can actually take a joke!]
It should only be temporary. We only need the cloaking on for the top portion of, and during the times Transbay Tower would otherwise cast a shadow on Justin Herman Plaza. At other times, we can enjoy the full visibility of the tower. There should also be a bit remaining visible at the very top that should still be visible to aircraft while in cloak mode.
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  #1877  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2008, 6:12 AM
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I doubt a cloak that size would be built in the next 10-20 years. Also, the amount of money to build one of these cloaks would be enormous. No developer would want to pay for a cloak just to make less shadows.
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  #1878  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2008, 6:31 AM
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I doubt a cloak that size would be built in the next 10-20 years. Also, the amount of money to build one of these cloaks would be enormous. No developer would want to pay for a cloak just to make less shadows.
Right, that is basically what I said. Maybe in about 30 or 40 years many things will be different, or during the next round of new tallests in San Francisco, but for now it is much too early to predict. As for Transbay by 2014, it will be interesting to learn what more feasible possibilities will be considered. In the meantime, I though it would be interesting to mention some longer range possibilities. Back to current 2008 reality...
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  #1879  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2008, 8:44 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinSF View Post
Except that arguably one of the most important (and certainly loudest) voices serves on both, I believe--Chris Daly.
wonderful...

In other news, They are now pulling core samples out of the ground near the skyway along Folsom. Part of the project is replacing and moving this approach. There's another rig set-up near the skyway at Beale. That one I presume is there because the new terminal will extend across Beale.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2008, 12:38 AM
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wonderful...

In other news, They are now pulling core samples out of the ground near the skyway along Folsom. Part of the project is replacing and moving this approach. There's another rig set-up near the skyway at Beale. That one I presume is there because the new terminal will extend across Beale.
You could be right...

From: http://www.pcparch.com/transbay/citypark.swf (I added the street names)
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