Spear Tower at One Market Plaza

Spear Tower At One Market Plaza
  1. About the Spear Tower at One Market Plaza in San Francisco
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The Spear Tower at One Market Plaza is an International Style skyscraper designed by Welton Becket & Associates and built in 1976 in San Francisco, CA.

Spear Tower at One Market Plaza is not the only name you might know this building by though. It is common for companies to want to attach their names to iconic buildings when they move in, or for the general public to come up with nicknames, and this one is no exception. The Spear Tower at One Market Plaza is also known, or has been known as, Del Monte Building, or One Market Plaza.

Its precise street address is 1 Market Street, San Francisco, CA. You can also find it on the map here.

The building has been restored 2 times over the years to ensure its conservation and adaptation to the pass of time. The main restoration works happened in 1996 and 2016.

Building's timeline

Construction completed
years ago
  1. 1996 - Interior renovation. The architect in charge was César Pelli & Associates.
  2. 2014 to 2016 - Renovation of the ten-story open atrium. The architect in charge was Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Architect and team

Welton Becket & Associates was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Welton Becket & Associates was in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline, which usually involves many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but at the very least we know that there was one other part involved, that was Turner Construction Company as the Main Contractor.

Architectural Style

The Spear Tower at One Market Plaza can be categorized as an International Style building.

The international style originated in Europe in the early 20th century, and made its way to the US a couple of decades later when the rise of the Nazi regime forced figures such as Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, or Mies van der Rohe to flee Europe.

The International Style emerged as a response to the prevailing historicism and ornate architecture styles of the late 19th century, which according to a younger generation of architects didn't represent the new materials and construction techniques that were on the rise at the time.

Architecture in the early 20th century US was marked by the adoption of steel structures, modern construction techniques, and the rise of the skyscraper. As it turns out, this combination of circumstances created the perfect ecosystem for the International Style to flourish, becoming the to-go style for skyscraper designs during the mid-20th century, when American cities were growing fast.

The International Style’s legacy can not only be found in numerous iconic buildings across all major American cities, but also incorporated in contemporary architecture, which still puts a big emphasis on functionality and minimalism.

Spaces & Uses

The Spear Tower at One Market Plaza reaches an architectural height of 564ft (172m). It has a total of 44 floors, 42 above ground and 2 basements, which combined offer a total of 984,789 sqf (91,490m2) of usable space.

In regards to parking space, the building has a total of 162 spots available, which roughly equals 4 spots per floor (above ground), or one parking spot per every 6,082 sqf (565m2) of usable space.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1976, the Spear Tower at One Market Plaza has mainly been used as Commercial space.

564ft (172m)
2 basements

Materials & Structure

The Spear Tower at One Market Plaza uses a frame structure made of steel columns and concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade of the building however, is load bearing. This doesn't imply that it is a traditional load-bearing wall. Rather, it means that the structure's exterior pillars have been pushed to the very edges, becoming integrated with the facade, and therefore, technically, a part of it.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a strong contrast of dark glass with dark frames and whitish concrete panels on the spandrels and columns that organize the facade in several bays.

Other materials found at the Spear Tower at One Market Plaza include, white marble, found in lobbies, and cherry wood, used in elevators.


  • en.wikipedia.org
  • marketplace.vts.com
  • sfyimby.com
  • griddig.com
  • www.loopnet.com