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Twisting Tower MIRA Leases Up, Gets Rock Garden Art Installation

San Francisco’s iconic downtown 400-foot tower MIRA, known best for its twisting, vaguely psychedelic design by architecture firm Studio Gang, had an active start to the year following its opening last summer, with an uptick in leasing and an art project installed on March 11.

In addition to its unique design, MIRA has been considered unusual for having 40% of its housing units designated affordable. To date, over 50% of its 392 condo units are sold, a spokesperson for the project said. 

Developer Tishman Speyer has partnered with an arts program known as [working] to add a 527 SF rock garden art installation by New York-based artist Vanha Lam to MIRA’s ground-floor retail area, according to a statement. The installation, named Temporary Garden — Ongoing Maintenance, came out of Lam’s study of the locale and is aimed to serve as a tranquil retreat from the hectic city outside.

Artist Vanha Lam tends to Temporary Garden — Ongoing Maintenance.

“We’re grateful our partnership with [working] connected us with Vanha Lam and created the opportunity to share her garden creation with the entire East Cut neighborhood,” Tishman Speyer Senior Managing Director Carl Shannon said in a statement. “Vanha has created a thought-provoking and beautiful space for all to experience, and we’re proud to showcase her work to the public.”

The rock garden is envisioned to activate the surrounding neighborhood and is designed to be appealing from the perspective of those passing by along the streetscape, with paper screens covering exterior windows creating different portals to view the installation from different vantage points.

MIRA residential tower in San Francisco

Part of the local cultural institution Problem Library, [working] partners with S.F. commercial property owners in an effort to transform vacant retail space for large-scale art projects that engage the public. The rock garden is not part of S.F.’s 1% Art Program, a MIRA spokesperson said.

MIRA has a total of 10K SF of ground-floor retail that is currently in the leasing phase. StretchLab has signed a lease and is set to open soon, according to a project spokesperson. Tenant improvement work will begin in a few months to ready leased space for a national fast-casual restaurant that has not yet been publicly disclosed.