That Empty Lot Problem? Solved.

West

While the recession has put a damper on development along San Francisco’s Octavia Boulevard, the mayor’s office has reached out to Douglas Burnham of Envelope A+D to come up with something cool to temporarily fill the two vacant lots that front Hayes Green at the intersection of Octavia and Fell.

Burnham’s plan sounds like a lot of fun. He plans to transform the space into a mini-shopping, dining, and entertainment destination called PROXY–using a series of modular units that will be recyclable in two or three years when things ratchet up again. The vision includes a group of  pop-up stores,  a food court served by “slow food” carts, an art gallery, and a courtyard for projecting outdoor movies.  Design-wise, the spaces will make their transient nature apparent, revealing their infrastructure (e.g., wiring, water storage) and their modular assembly.

We know what those contrived shopping-n-dining plazas feel like (to wit:  Santana Row), so we can’t wait to see what happens when you have an architect as the prime mover. With buy-in from the city and from the neighborhood association, Burnham plans to put things in place this spring.  See below for an idea of what will replace a parking lot and a bunch of weeds.  How inspiring is that?


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