That Sinking Feeling


The Millennium Tower in San Francisco is sinking. Instead of using supports driven 200 feet down into bedrock, the 58 story structure was built on 950 “friction piles” in the sandy soil.

Now, 7 years after completion it’s sunk 15 inches and is leaning 2 inches to the northeast. The tower sits on a massive fault line in the earthquake-prone city, so having a stable foundation would probably be a good idea.

I thought of the Millennium Tower last week when talking with a client who has built a large online presence. They lamented that they had never invested in a full brand identity system when they launched and instead tacked on bits and pieces as they grew.

Now they find their brand aesthetic is inconsistent across a huge range of visual assets. The brand equity they have tried to build is sinking. 

We’re going to fix it, but in the earthquake zone that is today’s marketplace, it pays to build your brand foundation on bedrock.

photo credit: SFGATE