Complications could be on the rise for Snøhetta and AECOM, who were recently announced as the Golden State Warriors’ architects of choice to design their new sports and entertainment complex on the San Francisco waterfront. Despite the complications, however, the architects still have time to execute the hoped-for ‘slam dunk’. More information after the break.
The Warriors insist they need to open the arena in 2017, the year their lease ends in Oakland. City Hall has been happy to oblige, mapping out a review process that will have the design take shape at the same time the financial deal and the environmental process gets under way. Labor agreements and other moves to build support for the project will be announced in tandem with each public hearing. Yet the most important long-term aspects – how the arena can best fit the Embarcadero, and whether it even is in the appropriate place – have yet to be fully addressed.
When the design was shown last week to the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee, the presentation by architect Craig Dykers underscored how sketchy it remains.
Make no mistake – the approach being taken by the architectural team of AECOM and Dykers’ firm Snøhetta has promise. Their idea is to pull the Embarcadero into Piers 30-32 with a procession of public spaces that would move diagonally up and through the site toward the Bay Bridge. The arena is portrayed as a glassy oval that would rise no higher than 135 feet, set on the southeast corner of the pier so as not to block view corridors and not appear too massive from afar. All that was shown to the supervisors were pencil sketches and a handful of architectural renderings that tended to be from the perspective of either the water below or the sky above.
The current approach could indeed be the best path – an eye-catching contemporary structure on the edge of the bay, amid public spaces that exult in the unique location, might be transformative in a wholly positive way – however, the plans and time-line will need to be addressed before any further plans can be made.
Courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle