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David Herd Buro Happold
David Herd
David Herd
Presidio of San Francisco
Presidio of San Francisco/Courtesy Wikipedia
675 California St.
675 California St./© KQED News
V. C. Morris Gift Shop
V. C. Morris Gift Shop/Courtesy Wikipedia
Perbacco Restaurant
Perbacco Restaurant/Courtesy Perbacco Restaurant

David is a Principal at Buro Happold with specific responsibility for leading multi-disciplinary engineering teams in the West Coast region. He has extensive experience in sustainable, integrated building design and master planning. His philosophy is that successful design is achieved through influencing the architectural language, form, function and fabric of a building, master plan or landscape to minimize the environmental impact of energy, water, material, and waste. Over a 20 year career, David has continually aided his teams in achieving the highest levels of sustainability through innovative solutions tailored to each project’s unique challenges.

Favorite new green building:
One Bush (aka Crown Zellerbach, by SOM) is one of the best buildings in San Francisco, period, and as a LEED EBOM Platinum building it is also a great example of the potential of existing buildings from a sustainability perspective. Over 50 years old now, the building is definitely standing the test of time.

Must-see historic building:
Since I already listed One Bush above, I'll say the Presidio of San Francisco. By converting the former military base to a National Park, the city preserved a spectacular natural site, which includes a collection of historic buildings spanning more than two centuries. It's a tremendous asset for the city's residents.

Off-the-beaten-path architecture:
Proxy is an urban intervention which has transformed a vacant site in Hayes Valley into a hub of entrepreneurial culture. Beyond the pleasures of good coffee, made-on-demand ice cream and a beer garden, Proxy's ingenuity really speaks to the new energy that is shaping cities in a positive way.

There also is a little gem of modern architecture at the corner of California and Grant, attributed to an obscure architect, A.E. Waegeman. Pure modern expression. The design firm, Eight Inc., enviably has its offices there.

Best public parks/spaces:
Crissy Field, which sits along the bayside of the Presidio, is possibly the most beautiful walk in San Francisco. You have spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the restored marshland, yet it is a very urban gathering place, always full of people. A few years from now, I'll be able to say the park atop the Transbay Transit Center. What better symbol of San Francisco's future than a five-acre park in the heart of downtown directly linked to high speed rail? Right now, though, it is just a huge hole in the ground but an incredible piece of construction demonstrating the leadership that San Francisco has always shown, particularly in hard times.

Museums, galleries, and performing arts:
Frank Lloyd Wright's VC Morris Gift Shop (now the Xanadu Gallery) on Maiden Lane is just a couple blocks from our office. Its circular gallery was a dry run for the Guggenheim, or so the story goes.

Drinking, dining, and shopping:
Of course there is no shortage of great restaurants in San Francisco, but one of my favorites that would be relatively easy for Greenbuild visitors to get to is Perbacco. A fresh take on traditional Italian cuisine in a pleasant space that also bridges past and present.

If you only have time to go to one store, go to William Stout Architectural books. It's one of the best architectural bookstores anywhere.

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