With the news earlier this year that San Francisco's Presidio Trust was planning a new cultural centre on the former site of a military base, now a national park, further details have emerged on the three finalists. The competition has attracted proposals from George Lucas (for the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum), WRNS Studio and the Chora Group (for 'The Bridge'), and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy (for the Presidio Exchange). Each proposals offer different visions for the eight acre site, the ex-military building of which currently hosts the retailer Sports Basement.
The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum / George Lucas
According to the Presidio, this proposal centres around "George Lucas’ passion for education and the role art can play in inspiring young people." Described as a "state of the art" facility, the proposal has been designed to attract an entire spectrum of audiences from families, to schools, to tourists, and features fine art, some of which donated from Lucas's own collection. As "the country's premiere venue for understanding the role of the visual image in American life," the design is intended to bring "a wealth of strong affiliations with other significant arts and education institutions" to San Francisco. It has been reported that Lucas "would pay development costs and will provide the museum with an endowment for future development."
The Bridge & Sustainability Institute / WRNS Studio and the Chora Group
Described as a place "to explore the critical social, economic and environmental issues of our time," this proposal would "showcase today’s key challenges, from water conservation to labor practices." Incorporating lectures, forums, education centre, and "Sustainability Marketplace," the design epitomises the need for "new types of public institutions that bring people together to collaborate, learn, discover, invent and dream." Comprising of two parts, the Bridge and the Sustainability Institute, the proposal connects a building (the Bridge) "itself a case study in sustainable building technologies" with a collaborative research centre (the Sustainability Institute) connecting "scientists, bloggers, engineers, artists, CEOs, educators and politicians to pursue focused, thematic research on the social and environmental issues of our time."
The Presidio Exchange (PX) / The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
This proposal, offering a "park-based cultural center that creates, curates, and hosts unique public experiences," has been designed to "reveal" the historic landmark of the Presidio as well as connecting "it to the themes of the Golden Gate National Parks" and "the creative and intellectual capital of the Bay Area." Free and accessible events, residencies, and exhibits would be assisted by more than thirty organisations, "including national entities such as National Geographic, California Academy of Sciences, the Aspen Institute, Walker Art Center, and Stanford’s Bill Lane Center for the American West," who have expressed an interest in partnering with the Conservancy. Established in 1981, the Conservancy has "played a key role in revitalizing Lands End, preserving the Presidio, reinvigorating Fort Baker, transforming Crissy Field, and protecting 80,000 acres of national parkland north and south of the Golden Gate."
The final decision will be made on October 24th 2013 after a public meeting. You can explore the proposals in more detail and leave your comments here.