Yesterday Snøhetta and AECOM presented a conceptual scheme for the proposed new home of the Golden State Warriors, to be located on Piers 30-32, at the foot of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Although still very general in nature, the scheme addresses several of the more prominent planning issues of the site.
The Warriors had previously released renderings of an arena (not prepared by Snøhetta and AECOM) showing an imposing box that immediately raised public concern. The Snøhetta/AECOM scheme responds with much greater sensitivity to four major issues: the quality and quantity of public space; the perceived mass of the building; view corridors from both adjoining residential areas and along the Embarcadero; and traffic impacts.
The preliminary scheme does not define the arena in detail, other than to show an oval-shaped structure skinned in glass. Fritted glass walls would provide uninterrupted views of the Bay Bridge and the San Francisco Bay, and a piercing along the side would allow a ramp to make its way inside.
But while still in its early stages, the plan does begin to answer the larger public and planning questions that must be tackled before the project can proceed.
The 170,000 square foot, 17,500-seat building itself is placed at the far eastern edge of the piers, several hundred feet from the street. The resulting open space is significant—over 300,000 square feet of publicly accessible outdoor space on a site of approximately 550,000 square feet. The plaza consists of a gently sloping series of inclines, steps and flat areas that afford a predominantly southern exposure. The open space also sits atop a 630-car garage, a significant reduction from the 1,500 cars that can now be parked on the piers.