Envelope A+D’s designs for a temporary “proxy” on Octavia Boulevard lots K+L:

A placeholder for a more permanent building, proxy is a temporary two-block construct that imagines a vibrant focal point for commerce and community. proxy is conceived in relation to the realization that, due to the economic downturn, the sites left over from the path of the former Central Freeway, which slice through San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, will be left undeveloped for several years to come. In the meantime, we contend that these sites can be occupied by temporary inhabitations of retail, restaurant, art gallery, garden and community-based uses that add to the richness and diversity of Hayes Valley.

According to the A/N Blog, the designs came at the request of the Mayor’s Office.

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Anna

    Better than the gated parking lots that are currently there, but the structures had better be designed to last 5-7 years rather than the 2-3 they mention.

  2. Posted by invented

    Eye candy. Don’t get it tho.
    What and why is ‘temporary retail’ – holiday bazaar? Mini-Alemany on weekends? Frankly I’d rather see existing buildings have dynamic multi-uses (church acoss Octavia, gay center, elementary school nearby) — for community and other weekend functions — than to build something new (even if temp). Looks pretty, but a well landscaped edible garden is probably more in tune with the new economy & pulls a community together like none other. IMO

  3. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    My concern is that crenelated perimeter along Octavia creates a lot of ad-hoc “urinals”.
    Though it does look cool.

  4. Posted by Dan

    A community vegetable garden would be a good temporary, low cost use.

  5. Posted by Delancey

    Just park a bunch of emptied out old bart and muni light rail cars in parallel. Likely cheaper than “temporary” construction, and more durable. http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/11/11/f-rfa-durham.html

  6. Posted by iiii

    Or empty shipping containers. They stack nicely.

  7. Posted by Roofless

    Is that a temporary blue tarp instead of a roof?

  8. Posted by Dede

    The only comment I have about “temporary” structures is that it rarely is. Think about the large number of “portable” classrooms that have never moved and been around for more than 10 years in this state. Temporary can become fairly permanent. Doubt me? Look at the history of the “temporary” Palace of Fine Arts.
    http://www.palaceoffinearts.org/background.html

  9. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    After reading the Envelope A+D statement linked above and I’m now sold on this project. This statement in particular :
    “Envisioned with a lifespan of two to three years, proxy is an investigation into the potentials of impermanence. At the same time, the project seeks to re-establish the urban fabric through a combination of frame, fabric, mesh, wall and volume.”
    This is partly an experiment and not a very expensive looking one : note the outdoor festival type construction materials and a roach coach used as a kitchen. San Francisco as an incubator for new urban design ideas ?
    I agree that this is likely to be standing more than 3 years. Hopefully it doesn’t get too nasty looking as it exceeds its expected life. Though it could flop, not much is invested. And there’s the chance that it creates a great outcome.
    When there are opportunities to erect temporary structures, not often does anyone experiment with the “potentials of impermanence”. Usually we get a bland beige trailer witn an air conditioner strapped to the back courtesy of GE Capital. Certainly there’s room for improvement in the state-of-art.
    Whether this is a flop or a raving success, at least we will have tried and learned.

  10. Posted by 45yo hipster

    Wonder what chris Daley thinks…I know…let’s give it to the homeless! Long live peoples park, a la mode a la Berkeley. Peace 🙂
    (as a cal student in the late 80’s I remember the intense controversy over peoples park. what an anachronism it would be to re-host that rather intense tragi-comedy in SF in 2010!)

  11. Posted by joh

    lots of little nooks and crannies provide privacy for peeing and pooping.

  12. Posted by Dinder

    Maybe now they’ll be able to find that “Danielle” I’ve been hearing so much about…

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