Gap Offices in San Bruno
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Architect William McDonough
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Location San Bruno, California   map
Date 1994 to 1997   timeline
Building Type commercial office building, corporate
 Construction System steel frame and glass, green roof
Climate mild temperate
Context suburban
Style Environmental Modern
Notes Green roof, extensive daylighting.


Photo, exterior overview of roofs and distant context

Photo, exterior view of building corner

Photo, exterior view at dusk


Section drawing showing daylighting mechanisms

Section drawing of building complex
Site Plan drawing, Phase 1
Plan drawing, typical interior layout

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Discussion Gap Offices in San Bruno Commentary

"The strategy of maximizing instead of reducing was also important to McDonough in his design for the Gap headquarters. By maximizing daylight and fresh air, he was able to create a healthy and enjoyable workplace, which also happens to use much less energy than a more "conventional" office building.

"He laughed at a Wall Street Journal headline, referring to this building, Windows That Open Are the Latest Office Amenity. What kind of place have we come to, he asked, that allowing fresh air into our workplace is worthy of front-page news? "

— Ross Leventhal. ArchitectureWeek, 2001.0516. pN1.2.

The Creator's Words

"All of our projects celebrate nature and encourage connection to the world outside. For Herman Miller's Miller SQA factory and offices in Zeeland, Michigan we built the design around views of the landscape and a daylit interior 'street' where all employees mingle during their breaks. The offices we designed for Gap Inc. in San Bruno, California are filled with daylight, fresh air, and views of the outdoors, and the roof of the building is covered in indigenous grasses to reestablish the site's natural habitat. ..."

— from the William McDonough + Partners web site.


Savings by Design Award, 2000

Business Week/Architectural Record Award, 1998

Address: 901 Cherry, San Bruno, California

195,000 square feet, 500 occupants

Design Team

William McDonough + Partners

Sources on Gap Offices in San Bruno

"Best Practices in Sustainability", by Ross Leventhal, ArchitectureWeek No. 50, 2001.0516, pN1.1.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at


Web Resources
Links on Gap Offices in San Bruno

Gap Offices in San BrunoPortfolio pages at the William McDonough + Partners web site

Clothier designs with green in mind January 6, 2001 — Environmental News Network

Gap Building Wins Savings by Design AwardPG&E Press Release

Case Study: 901 CherryU.S. General Services Administration

901 CherryBay Area Council, Environmental Quality

Case Study: 901 CherryCornell University Ecotecture Site

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