The Crossing at East Cut

San Francisco, United States
The Crossing at East Cut is an ever-evolving urban destination in the heart of San Francisco’s East Cut neighborhood that inspires the community to be well.

The Transbay Temporary Terminal, located on the blocks bounded by Folsom, Howard and Main Streets, used to provide temporary bus terminal facilities during the construction of the new Salesforce Transit Center. Since the center’s opening in 2018, the site was vacant, with various efforts within the community to activate the space. Working with East Cut Landing Partners, Populous transformed the nearly 3.5-acre block at the Transbay Temporary Terminal into an urban oasis designed for the community.

Working with East Cut Landing Partners, Populous integrated and organized its vision for programming into an intersection of entertainment, wellness, community and immersive zones. To maintain budget, the design embraced the terminal’s existing elements and devised ways to work with structures already in place, such as seating areas from the bus terminal, palm trees and other landscaping. The existing elements helped to inform the larger concept of The Crossing as Populous sought out to create a sense of place for visitors.

Branding played a vital role in the creation of The Crossing at East Cut. Populous worked with East Cut Landing Partners to develop its brand foundation and visual assets that set the tone and a voice to the destination.




The Crossing is an intersection of wellness, sustainability, community and entertainment. The asterisk logo Populous devised captures how these four elements overlap, suggesting motion and the diversity of interests that form this communal space. The asterisk is also a symbol for the 365-days-a-year nature of the space, constantly moving and adapting to reflect and attract new audiences.

Branding efforts also included the creation of colorful digital and print construction banners, which garner people’s interest both in-person and on social media channels, as well as the brand’s presence on digital and web interfaces. Populous also incorporated QR codes on these banners so passersby can stay up to date on information regarding The Crossing. Colorful crosswalks and signs create inviting pathways for neighborhood workers and residents to “live” the brand.

As East Cut is an active neighborhood in San Francisco, branding elements for The Crossing had to work with the already established look and feel, as well as the existing conditions within the temporary bus terminal. Populous created conceptual renderings and phase-by-phase space planning to show East Cut Landing Partners and other stakeholders how the activation might work within the existing neighborhood and identified specific spots within the terminal where activations can take place.

The Crossing at East Cut brings people together with around the clock activations and amenities that celebrate the community, promote active wellness and enjoy a dynamic spectrum of entertainment opportunities. The site features a family-friendly beer garden, food trucks, soccer/sports fields and public art. It also hosts an outdoor cinema, food and retail kiosks, a community marketplace, spaces for seasonal activations and play areas.

The Crossing’s identity is neither a permanent nor temporary installation — not long term or short term but somewhere in the middle. It is an actively changing experience, making it a whole new way to think about utilizing land and space.

6 items.
  • Riki Nishimura Principal, Senior Urban Designer San Francisco
  • Michael Lockwood Senior Principal San Francisco
  • John Shreve Senior Principal, Senior Urban Planner Kansas City
  • Nicole Williams Principal, Creative Director – Americas Kansas City
  • Francisco Besa Principal, Senior Graphic Designer Kansas City
  • Rachel Fox Evans Landscape Architect Kansas City

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