Last week, the five teams competing for the Presidio Parkland project in San Francisco unveiled their proposals in a public meeting at the project site. The parkland, made possible by the replacement of an elevated highway by a new tunnel, will command stunning views of the San Francisco bay, including views of the Golden Gate bridge.
"This is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to create and design new parklands," Executive Director of the Presidio Trust Craig said. "We are extremely pleased with the caliber of the work of the five design teams and look forward to hearing the public’s feedback on these early concepts."
Competing for the prestigious project are James Corner Field Operations, OLIN with Olson Kundig Architects, Snøhetta with Hood Design Studio, West 8, and CMG Landscape Architecture. A winner will be announced in January.
Read on after the break to see all five proposals
The scheme by Olin + Olson Kundig Architects recognizes the repetition of a u-shape in both the buildings and topography of the site. Inspired by the way this shape is inwardly focused, offering shelter and a sense of enclosure, but also outwardly focused, directing attention towards views, their proposal makes repeated use of the gesture to inform the layout of the park.
Inserted into this framework are a number of interventions, including an observation deck, a flexible plaza space known as 'the runway,' a 'serpentine' walkway, and a number of oval-shaped lawns known as 'U-Pods' for recreational use.
In addition to the physical interventions, the team also proposed an app which helps users explore the park when in the vicinity.
Presidio Point / James Corner Field Operations
James Corner Field Operations focus on three key ideas: "panorama," a desire to make the most of the site's stunning views; "connect," a plan to link the site with other nearby landmarks; and "stage," with a series of features which allow the park to play host to a variety of events and gatherings.
An amphitheater and the large 'West Lawn' provide ample space for events, while a series of lookout points - including the reflective 'looking glass' outlook offer views across the bay.
The team of Snøhetta and Hood Design Studio also focused on the idea of connecting the Presidio to the wider context of the Golden Gate recreation area, with their idea that "the site is bigger than the site."
They focus on both protecting the natural landscape of the site, and bringing the disciplines of architecture and landscape closer together, with buildings and outlook ledges that emerge seamlessly from the topography of the site.
The Observation Post / CMG Landscape Architecture
The focal point of the proposal by CMG Landscape Architecture is the Observation Post, a which allows users to view the bay from the roof.
Complementing this key intervention are a series of smaller structures which add life to the park, such as the 'cyanoscope' which allows users of the park to see just how blue the sky is that day, the 'listening coves' which enhance the user's sense of hearing to listen to the surrounding environment, and the kinetic dune fence which is animated by the wind.
PresidiO / West 8
In order to create a park that is at the same time respectful of the history and existing form of the site, but also striking and contemporary in its own right, West 8 looked for inspiration to designs that are "simple in form and spectacular in concept" - namely, IM Pei's Louvre Pyramids and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial designed by Maya Lin.
Following that tradition, the focal point of their design is a single elliptical bowl in the landscape, surrounded by a 'ring promenade.' Rising from the landscape, this also gives space for a colonnade hosting cafes and culture centers.
Outside of this central feature, other ecologies allow for a varied park experience, with woodland and wetland areas enhancing the park's landscape.