About the SPUR Urban Center

Located in the Yerba Buena district of San Francisco, the 14,500-square-foot Urban Center serves as SPUR's main headquarters. (For information about our San José and Oakland offices, see the Contact Us page.)

Pfau Long Architecture developed the four-floor structure, which includes a streetfront exhibition gallery, a 125-seat public assembly hall, workspace for staff members and a top-floor meeting space with an outdoor deck overlooking Mission Street.

Pfau Long is a nationally recognized design firm distinguished by its unconventional projects and environmentally sensitive, leading-edge design. Since 1991, the firm has remained committed to the notion that successful architecture must connect with its users — resulting in the creation of progressive education facilities, humanistic work environments and inspiring places of worship. Notable San Francisco projects include Lick Wilmerding High School, the City College of San Francisco Joint Use Academic Facility, the LGBT Community Center and the San Francisco Friends School.


Photo by Iwan Bahn. All rights reserved.

Green Building Features

The Urban Center is registered with the United States Green Building Council and rated LEED NC Silver.


  • 95% of the former 654 Mission building was recycled or reused
  • Structural steel is 95% recycled material content
  • Cement is 50% fly ash (a by-product of coal fired power plants)
  • Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) paints, doors, carpets
  • Carpets partially made with post-industrial scrap
  • Cabinetry made of crushed sunflower seed husks, a rapidly renewable material
  • Countertops made of recycled newspaper and natural resin


  • Roof is coated with white reflective material to prevent the heat absorption typical of black tar roofs
  • Operable windows let in fresh air
  • Reflective louvers on the facade reflect direct sunlight, reducing heat load and relieving HVAC system
  • HVAC filtration is hyper-efficient, screening out fine particles of pollens and dust
  • HVAC uses the most environmentally benign refrigerant chemical on the market. If gasses are released they will not contribute to ozone depletion or greenhouse gasses
  • Carbon dioxide sensors
  • System has an "economizer" which brings in outside air when temperature is comfortable without conditioning it.
  • "European" sized system, which has a wider comfort range. Most American systems maintain a specific temperature degree, using more energy.


  • Dual-level water saving flush toilet
  • Sensor flush urinals
  • Automatic sinks
  • Under sink instant hot water heater


  • Florescent and LED energy-saving lights
  • Automatic shut offs
  • Motion sensor activated
  • Multiple level switches and dimmers
  • Master shut-off


Photo by Iwan Banh. All rights reserved.

Design Team

Architect: Pfau Long Architecture Ltd.
Interiors: HOK
General Contractor: Nibbi Brothers General Contractors
Structural Engineer: Forell/Elsesser Engineers, Inc.
MEP Engineer: WSP Flack + Kurtz Inc.
Acoustics & Audio Visual Systems: Charles M. Salter Associates
Lighting Design: Auerbach Glasow French | revolverdesign
Geotechnical: Treadwell & Rollo
Security/Telecommunications: Shen Milsom Wilke LLP
Civil Engineer: KCA Engineers, Inc.
Code Consultant: A.R. Sanchez-Corea & Associates
Site Survey Consultants: Martin M. Ron Associates
Specifications: Linton D. Stables, III
Green Buildind Consultants: Simon & Associates, Inc.
LEED Consultant: Gordon Development
Graphics & Signage Design: Public
Green Roof: Miller Company Landscape Architects
Model Builder: zDp Models
Owner's Representative: Greg Lunkes

Building Committee

Peter Winkelstein, Chair
Anne Halsted
John Kriken
John Loomis
Terry Micheau
Teresa Rea

Capital Campaign Committees

Initiation Chairs

John Jacobs *
Patricia Klitgaard
Jim Lazarus

Phase I

Oz Erickson, Chair
Michael Alexander
Anne Halsted
Rod Freebairn-Smith
Vince Hoenigman
Beverly Mills
Brian O’Neill *
Brooks Walker, III

Phase II

Chris Meany, Chair
Tom Hart
Chris Poland
John McNulty
Brian O’Neill *
David Hartley
Bill Stotler
Teresa Rea
Brooks Walker, III

Diane Filippi, Director, SPUR Urban Center
Jim Chappell, President Emeritus
Gabriel Metcalf, President

* deceased