While the concepts for the New Presidio Parklands project are slated to be unveiled to the public for the first time next week, we have a sneak peek at the five designs to be presented by CMG Landscape Architecture; James Corner Field Operations; OLIN; SNØHETTA; and the West 8 teams:

CMG  Landscape Architecture Design
CMG Landscape Architecture
New Presidio Parklands Concept:  James Corner Field Operations Design
James Corner Field Operations
OLIN Design
West 8
West 8

Based on the concepts and public feedback, one or more of the five teams will be engaged to lead the design project for the new parkland which will be created above the new Presidio Parkway tunnels as well as a revitalized Crissy Field Center Youth Campus and a re-imagined Presidio Visitor Center.

In all, it’s a 13-acre project which will connect the Presidio’s historic core to Crissy Field and the shoreline of the bay for the first time in over eighty years.

Plug in for the full presentations and concept details next week.

31 thoughts on “Sneak Peek: Five Designs For The Future Of The Presidio”
  1. Snohetta, please. They’re all fairly uninspired, but at least Snohetta has an interesting landmark structure.

    (OLIN’s doomed itself with the picture of a balloon release – isn’t that a major environmental no-no?)

    1. How does that possibly doom OLIN? It’s a concept rendering. It’s a drawing. It’s a presentation.

      They are not in charge of the balloons.

      1. It dooms them because all the enviro-NIMBYs will whinge and complain, and the PT will be forced to discount the OLIN scheme. Clearly by now you know this process has nothing to do with merit and everything to do with politics and public relations.

        1. Olin should be doomed. A generic lawn landscape that could be in any midwestern city park. There are already plenty of lawn areas in the general vicinity.

  2. the single view point make it hard to judge. so far i like CMG more because it evoke the natural bluff feel.

  3. If I may tweak their introduction:

    A tiny portion of the highway that has cut through the Presidio for seven decades is being replaced with a below-grade roadway hidden from public view. This blows a once-in-a-century opportunity to establish a magnificent new landscape from which the public can view and experience the Presidio, the bay, and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

  4. They are all nice. I particularly like the seating surfaces of the James Corner plan. Looks like large cypress trees that have been tastefully textured and shaped into what the solid shape of wind would look like (which this area isn’t short of).

  5. The balloons are compostable, free-range, grass-fed, made in the Mission and delivered by bicycle. Olin’s a visionary!

    People will look back on our gilded age from some dystopic future and be grateful for this incredible investment in public space. I just hope the PT provides a healthy maintenance endowment for this since the feds can’t.

    1. And they’re not balloons at all but special weather assist devices specifically designed to fix climate change. And the hipsters banging drums proves the fix is in!

  6. I still don’t see any “solution” to the current issue….access. What would be done with the parking situation in that area? Also, what about ingress/egress? Something tells me, it’s still going to be long lines of cars waiting to get into the area.

  7. CMG by far. it looks the most natural. I lived in the presidio for 6 years and have lived 2blks away for the past 4. the presidio needs to stay natural and rustic to keep it as a place where people can go to calm and peace within the city. there’s too much modernization going on right now that is kind of ruining it. i really hope that planners dont turn it into the disneyland that is golden gate park. please keep it natural and somewhat wild and rustic. the snohetta design is absolutelty horrific.

    1. “the disneyland that is golden gate park”? You mean the de Young, Academy of Science, and Conservatory, all of which have been there for about 100 years? (The first two being new buildings in pre-existing locations.) Ditto the botanical gardens, bison paddock, Stow Lake facilities, Tea Garden… Do you mean the restoration of the windmills, which helped *create* GG Park in the first place? What, exactly, do you mean by “disneyland”? Because when I walk and bike through GG Park, I see on the one hand an amazing amount of undeveloped space (and space which, by the way, the City can’t afford to maintain as it is), and on the other hand I see nothing that hasn’t been there for ages. In fact, I can hardly imagine the uproar if the City *did* try to build something new in GG Park…

      1. i like some of the stuff in golden gate park, but it is completely overrun by tourists every single weekend. the presidio is not (except chrissy field). For the most part, I dont find GGP relaxing. theres lots to do and see, but its not peaceful and rustic. The presidio is. Its a jewel in the city and would hate to see the commercialization of the Presidio ruin its value to the residents of SF. Already they have slashed thousands of trees and widened perfect beautiful single track trails into 12 ft wide gravel paths. The beauty of the coastal trail from GGB to Baker Beach has really been degraded. in most of the presidio, i can walk my dog off leash. if it keeps getting touristified, that will cease and that hurts the QOL of SF.

          1. yes, those are the rules, but most people dont leash on the trails (ecology trail or lover’s lane for instance) and it works very well. if the park got more crowded with tourists, this would go away. SF is dog friendly, until more crowds begin complaining

          2. yes, more tourists could impede the extremely nice ways of the scofflaws, which are important to protect

            next thing you know someone might even want to extend the Central Freeway all the way to the Presidio as proposed in the past (namelink), and just to save them time getting there.


        1. jill, you do know the Presidio is part of the U.S. National Park system don’t you? If you want the Presidio restricted for the exclusive use of “the residents of SF” perhaps you could start a campaign to raise funds, purchase the park, build a wall around it, and keep it from “getting touristified”.

          1. yes, clearly i know that. i didnt say exclusive use of resident of SF. My point is that it is currently extremely nice the way it is, so whatever we can do to protect that is important. having said that, i hope it never gets crowded with tourists like GGP

  8. This is going to sound trivial, but I like that CMG included fog. To me, that indicates a better knowledge of the site. And, as far as Snohetta, do we really need to add another signature structure when the GG Bridge is right there?

  9. Agree with Jill and Jiasf, the Presidio does not need some “signature structure” to compete with the landscape, views, or GG Bridge. CMG is my favorite as well for it respects and understands the unique vocabulary of the place. The Presidio had a lot to do with why I bought on the North side of the city.

  10. In the Snohetta rendering, it looks like kids and pets could easily fall off the greenery and land in the middle of traffic below!

  11. I thought that the spirit of burying the roadway into tunnels and rehabilitating this area was to restore it to a more natural state and allow people to actively USE the area. Most of the plans seem to separate the people from the land – make them spectators behind the fence. I agree with Jlasf that the fog was a huge omission on the part of all but CMG. Are they the only ones who visited the area in person? To contrive a structure that overtly competes with the natural beauty of the space really misses the mark.

  12. CMG – actually really looked at the site context and made the connections.
    JCFO – where does one find a piece of driftwood that large for that huge bench edge?
    Olin – is that a base from a park project from Philadelphia and pasted on the GG bridge background, “its in SF paste a drum circle and guitar”, they phoned this in.
    Snoheta – how do you get a large piece of land with trees to overhang that much, what ever that is in the way background, the rest of the graphic feels cold and harsh, forgot the sense of place.
    West8 – Not bad a little more realistic at least they got the framing trees right.

    All of the photo realistic graphics lose a little of the design intent, human nature to look at the people and whatever is around them is lost

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