Watch Renzo Piano talk about reinventing the shopping mall in a San Francisco suburb

Inside RPBW's Bishop's Ranch project. (RPBW)

Inside RPBW’s Bishop’s Ranch project. (RPBW)

Last summer, AN reported on Renzo Piano’s City Center at Bishop Ranch, the architect’s re-invention of the typical shopping center, mixing walkability, culture (including an integrated performance stage), community (including a public “piazza” space”) and commerce. In a new short film about the project, Piano spoke about keeping people outside, creating open and transparent storefronts, making a building that will “practically fly above the ground.”

The project, located in San Ramon, a remote eastern suburb of San Francisco, centers around the plaza, which is surrounded by six raised glass pavilions. Piano explained how he is creating a suburban building that is nonetheless unpredictable, natural and “very California.”

“After a while you hear a little bell ringing,” explained Piano, of his design process epiphany. “This is not a shopping mall. It’s something else.”

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