The Wind Baffles
The Parks at 5M, 44 Mary St. (view map)
The iconic wind baffle structures that anchor The Parks at 5M, a new, vibrant community connected to the surrounding fabric of San Francisco’s SOMA District by a cohesive network of public spaces, are the brainchild of !melk, an award-winning urban design and landscape architecture firm. Built to mitigate wind, the baffles or “wind breakers” are artfully illuminated from the outside and complemented with a soft glow that radiates through the perforations in the upper zones. Though made from steel, a material associated with heaviness and industry, the baffles are often referred to as “flowers” for their stem and leaf-like design elements. Come nightfall, they transform into breathtaking sculptures and suddenly seem to float.
Best Viewing: After dark along Mary Street between Natoma and Minna streets.
5M is a new, vibrant mixed-use destination in the heart of San Francisco located at the intersection of 5th and Mission streets. Developed by Brookfield Properties, named “Developer of the Year” by the San Francisco Business Times in 2021, the four-acre parcel was previously home to parking lots and underutilized buildings. Now, it has been transformed into a lively community for locals and visitors alike.