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SOLD OUT: Moscone Convention Center Expansion and Improvement Building Tour (1 LU)
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When: Wednesday, December 12, 2018
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Where: Moscone Convention Center
747 Howard Street
San Francisco, California  94103
United States
Contact: 415.874.2620

Online registration is closed.
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Building Description

The expanded and improved Moscone Center will be a memorable work of architecture that is luminous and welcoming. Within the footprint of the existing site, the building reinvents the relationship between the convention center and the city. Circulation is arranged at the public edges of the building and exposed through transparent and translucent materials, bringing natural light into interior public spaces, revealing the activity within, and activating the public realm. The building’s elegant horizontal profile meets the sky with a luminous and sculptural roof element.

Beyond the building itself, there are significant improvements to adjacent open spaces, the introduction of new retail opportunities, and a new mid-block connection from third street into the children’s playground. Pedestrian-friendly spaces will replace 25,000 square feet of surface parking and vehicular circulation, exit ways, and ramps. The project will add more than 8,000 square feet of new public open space, including a play area for younger children. Multiple outdoor terraces will provide dramatic city views and can be used for receptions and other events.

The expanded convention center will keep San Francisco’s number one industry competitive, create thousands of new jobs, and enhance the neighborhood. Moscone Center currently generates more than 20 percent of the 16.9 million visitors to San Francisco, making it a main driver of business. As the city and the convention landscape continue to grow, this vital facility is expanding to meet future needs.

When complete, the improved Moscone Center will create less carbon emissions per visitor than any major convention center in North America. It will save more than five million gallons of water annually and generate clean energy with the largest rooftop solar installation in San Francisco. Image © Cesar Rubio Photography


$10 (AIASF Member); $15 (General) 


  • 9:30 AM: check-in at the West corner of Howard St and 3rd Street (directly across from Moscone).
  • 10:00 AM: Tour promptly begins

Led by Mark Schwettmann, SOM Design Director, the tour will take guests through various spaces in and around the building, including:

  • Exteriors from across Howard Street
  • Public outdoor space
  • Light-filled atrium with digital screens and views
  • Second floor with floor-to-ceiling detailed glass windows; views of surrounding area not present in original design
  • Second floor ballrooms
  • Outdoor terraces
  • Discussion about new eastern and western bridges

About the Tour Leader

Mark Schwettmann, AIA
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Mark Schwettmann is a Director based in SOM’s San Francisco office. With a diverse range of international experience in major mixed-use, residential, corporate, hospitality, and academic projects, he is also deeply involved in improving the built environment of San Francisco, his home city.

In his role as Director and Studio Head, he manages and mentors a group of design professionals working around the world, but particularly in San Francisco. In addition to these responsibilities, he leads the Digital Design Group in the firm's San Francisco office. This group maintains SOM’s position at the forefront of design by integrating leading-edge technology into the design process. The intersection of his lifelong interest in digital technology and the complex issues of building in San Francisco led to the design and construction of SOM’s award-winning San Francisco Digital Context Analysis Model, which is used extensively in all of the firm's work in the city, and also by government agencies for analysis of complex urban design issues.

With extensive knowledge of the project approval process in the San Francisco Bay Area, Schwettmann has guided many projects through complex public processes. These projects include the Moscone Convention Center Expansion and Improvement Project, the 75 Howard Street residential tower, and 1500 Mission Street, a mixed-use project that will include the offices of multiple San Francisco city departments responsible for the built environment. Schwettmann has also been involved in significant large-scale, mixed-use projects in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Fuzhou, and Wuxi, bringing environmental and social sensitivity to the energetic and fast-paced environment of large-scale development in China.