I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but it’s getting SERIOUSLY cold in San Francisco. And apparently we’re about to get some heavy fog, too. There are always reasons to leave the comfort of your home, though, and the Union Square Association just added a little incentive.

The “Architecture in Windows” project serves to lighten up the Union Square area with new art installations in empty storefront windows. The installations have all been designed by top architecture firms—hence the name—with various Union Square-inspired themes. If you want to see a full map of the windows, five in total, you can check out the Union Square Association website. You can also find details about the inspiration for all the different windows, which—surprisingly enough—is a lot more complex than, “This will look pretty.”

Pictured here is the window at 124 Geary, designed by Brand + Allen Architects, Inc. The theme is Union Square as the gateway to Chinatown, with a traditional Chinese icon viewed through 5,000 recyclable tubes. The whole installation is recyclable, actually, and is designed to be reused when the project is over. Now if that’s not San Francisco, I don’t know what is.

Photo by Timothy Faust.

Community Union Square Displays "Architecture in Windows"