Posts tagged with "CMG":

This San Francisco development will turn a working subway vent into a public sculpture

A forthcoming mixed-use affordable housing development by David Baker Architects (DBA), Kennerly Architecture and Planning, and CMG Landscape Architecture (all San Francisco–based firms) aims to bring 579 new units to a complicated site in San Francisco’s South of Market district. The 500,000-square-foot project—known as 1629 Market—is being master planned by the two architecture firms to take into account a series of impediments and historic properties on the site, including an immovable ventilation shaft serving a transit line running below the site. The vent will be given a sculptural treatment by the designers: a geometric exoskeleton will highlight the vent's place at the center of a new plaza. The designers are aiming to repurpose several of the site's historic structures, as well, including the Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Civic Center Hotel and a historic commercial building. The development will bring a mix of market rate and affordable homes, replace facilities for the Local 38 Plumbers Union Hall, and add a new public park to the bustling area in addition to the historic renovations. The development will ultimately come with 20,000 square feet of public open spaces that include the aforementioned central plaza as well as a series of pedestrian passageways that cut through the site. The plaza areas will be located at the heart of the site and are to be surrounded by a mix of storefronts and residential entrances. Renderings depict a terraced square populated by amorphous planters, the sculptural vent, a play structure, and other recreational components. The space is overlooked by apartments on all sides with commercial storefronts wrapping one edge of the plaza along Brady Street. The storefronts—13,000 square feet of retail uses, total—will wrap the outer edge of the entire complex along Market and 12th Streets, as well, allowing for the block’s interior streets to harbor a more residential atmosphere. These interior streets—“mid-block mews,” in the designers’ parlance—are designed as publically-accessible pedestrian paths accessible to unit entrances and shared residential amenities. Renderings for these spaces depict broad, tree-lined walkways overlooked by apartment windows. DBA Principal-in-Charge Daniel Simons told The Architect’s Newspaper that a major design consideration for the ground floor walkways was to embed multiple uses among the various routes, an arrangement that will allow for constant and diverse occupation.   The project will relocate 100 affordable units from the existing SRO into a new building being developed as a part of the project. The so-called 53 Colton housing block will be managed by Community Housing Partnership and is being designed by DBA. The building will flank the southern edge of the plaza and will feature metal panel cladding, punched openings, and a zig-zagging facade. DBA’s other buildings on the site also feature similar contemporary massing and will come clad in fiber cement board, plaster, and extruded metal rainscreens, among other treatments. Kennerly is responsible for the design of the so-called Brady 1 building, a 188-unit structure opposite 53 Colton that will incorporate and expand a historic, single-story commercial structure fronting Market Street. The Brady 1 structure, according to renderings, features alternating protrusions wrapped in vertical louvres along Market while also wrapping the corner to flank the Brady plaza within the site. A portion of this structure features rounded corners and is raised above the plaza on a large scale Y-column. The project is currently undergoing design review and is expected to complete the entitlement process this fall.  

Pictorial> Shortlisted firms share their visions for San Francisco’s Presidio

As AN just reported, five teams have shared their plans for the new Presidio Parklands, a 13-acre recreational site lying between Crissy Field and the Presidio’s Main Post. The schemes follow on the heels of a the Presidio Trust's rejection last February of three teams' proposals for a nearby cultural center. The winner will be chosen this January. See below for slideshows of all the available renderings of the projects. The teams—invited to compete last March—took their proposals quite far in terms of detailing and strategy. Be sure to read more about the project here.

 Snøhetta, Arcs and Strands

OLIN, Your Gateway Park

CMG, The Observation Post

WEST8, PRESIDI-O

James Corner Field Operations, Presidio Point

The Walled City

At the risk of sounding schmaltzy, let me say that the SF Peninsula's new Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, which had its grand opening yesterday, is an admirable stab at making up for what we lack in contemporary American society: non-institutional housing for the elderly, daycare for the toddlers, a state-of-the-art gym--all wrapped up in an architecturally interesting package. My friend Angharad, who lives nearby and has three boys under the age of 5, said wistfully, "I mean, I could be Jewish." This eight-acre town-within-a-town is located on the southern edge of Palo Alto, where the built landscape devolves into the giant office park that is the South Bay. It introduces high-density housing right off the freeway and a fresh breath of modernity (by San Jose's Steinberg Architects). It's got the look and feel of a mixed-use project, with apartments overlooking a central pedestrian thoroughfare that meanders past sculptural benches and palm trees in giant planters that are taller than a person (by SF landscape architecture firm CMG). But by design, the complex is also insular and inwardly focused, without a welcoming street presence. Everything has been raised above street level. This was the architects' response to the site, a brownfield. So the parking is at-grade, while the town is above—and pedestrian access is only through two points along the whole perimeter, up staircases. (Given the $300 million budget, was excavating to remove the toxic soil truly out of the question?) Along the main facade (shown in the first picture above), no amount of graphic razzmatazz can change the fact that you're looking at a monolith at the primary intersection. Maybe it makes sense for a cineplex, but for an urban village, it's offputting. A cafe is supposedly on the way, but will be tucked inside the complex. Imagine the difference if there was a bagelry at street-level on that southwest corner. Maybe it's too much to ask of any particular community, to be friendly to everyone. It's just that the ambitions of the project—the complexity of the plan and all the parts it's tried to integrate architecturally—make you wonder whether they could have tried just a bit harder to bridge the divide between their town and the town at large, the chosen and those merely passing by.

Perfect Angle for Treasure Island: 68 Degrees

Sixty-eight degrees happens to be the best angle for the streets in San Francisco's Treasure Island project, a utopian vision of green, pedestrian-centric living. The planners have realized that nobody will walk if they're buffeted by blasts of wind that sweep the island from the southwest, so they came up with a compromise that blocks wind while giving cars enough clearance to turn. It was just one of the interesting factoids that came up during yesterday's tour, organized by the AIA SF for their Architecture + the City Festival, going on right now  (still time to catch one of the other tours and get in on the learning and schmoozing!). The main presenter, Karen Alschuler of Perkins+Will--who was involved with the project from the start, when it was just SMWM rather than the many firms in the mix today--gave a thorough presentation with a new aerial rendering: She painted a vision of how residents would commute to the city.  "You'll be drinking your coffee at the kitchen window, and see the ferry leave from San Francisco, which takes about 13 minutes to arrive, and you'll walk down to catch it." All homes on the island will be designed so they are a 10 to 15 minute walk to the ferry building. But the really primo residential real estate will not be on the island itself, but on adjoining Yerba Buena Island. The west-facing half of the island will be redeveloped as part of the Treasure Island project, with a series of townhomes stepping down the hill, with truly amazing views. Anyone like me who has driven around and around Yerba Buena looking for a spot to take in that view and has been thwarted will be glad to hear there's going to be a new public park right at the top. That park's in addition to the 300 acres of open space on Treasure Island itself, which is only 400 acres altogether.  To encourage fewer cars, the neighborhoods are built up densely around the ferry building. The current plan is to have retail and restaurants at the ferry terminal, and the hangar behind will be a farmer's marketplace (a la the Ferry Building). Besides Perkins+ Will, the team working on the master plan currently includes:  CMG Landscape ArchitectureSOM (condo tower), BCV (marketplace) and Page & Turnbull (historic restoration). Why so many cooks? The developer, Wilson Meany Sullivan, likes to encourage collaboration--and a little competition--to get the best results.  Just joining the group is Seattle-based Mithun, which is working specifically on the neighborhood areas. Talking to Gerry Tierney of Perkins+Will, the plan for the 6,000-8,000 residences is to put parcels out to bid by developers, who will work with individual architects, in order to avoid an architectural monoculture.  The design guidelines they are putting together will be "steadfastly modern"--definitely no historical pastiche. Their hopes are for something akin to the jolly Borneo Sporenburg in Amsterdam. On this brilliant day, where the city was so bright and clear, the vision seemed so close.