Presidio Parklands Project: The Five Pitches And Points For EachSeptember 4, 2014
The five conceptual plans for the 13-acre project to connect the Presidio’s historic core with Crissy Field for the first time in over eighty years will be presented in their entirety today, a sneak peek at which we first published last week.
And along with a few more renderings, John King provides a summary of the five pitches and strong points for each:
1. “Presidio Point” (James Corner Field Operations): “The point becomes a nexus, a gathering place, a meeting place, a central hub … a distributor and a destination unto itself.”
Strong points: “Sinuous landscape also is orderly, expanding Parade Ground and creating youth zone along Mason Street with a “cliff walk” bluff in between. The outlooks are the best by far, each with its own distinct character.”
2. “YoUr Gateway Park” (Olin): “A magnet. A frame. A launch pad. A point of departure. A place to orient.”
Strong points: “The notion of U-framed pods allows a variety of comfortably scaled lawns and spaces.”
3. “Arcs and Strands” (Snøhetta): “It is important to recognize the Presidio’s many nuances in order to guide a successful new addition to such a sensitive place.”
Strong points: “The landscape works both as a large transition and a procession of small spaces. It also pulls in existing buildings along Halleck Street, using them to house small-scale food production.”
4. “Presidio Gateway” (West 8): “We believe that apt gestures … remind us that a melding of modern forms in a picturesque setting can transform the familiar while stirring and enriching our souls.”
Strong points: “The bowl-like landscape that slices down toward Crissy Field is a strong move that would be a powerful invitation to move upward into the Main Post, while the self-contained oval would be compelling on its own.”
5. “The Observation Post” (CMG): “While the design enables varied journeys, it is a destination in itself … a place of expansive views, immersive landscapes and intimate experiences.”
Strong points: “The “airfield bridge” that would arc above Mason Street and connect the new parkland to Crissy Field’s promenade grasps the potential of the setting, a reflection of how well the local team knows the terrain.”
<strong>UPDATE:</strong> <a href=”https://socketsite.com/archives/2014/09/presidio-parklands-project-five-presentations-full.html” rel=”nofollow”>The Five Presentations In Full</a>.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
I sitll prefer Snohetta, though James Corner Field and Olin (despite the ridiculous name) are strong too. Snohetta nicely continues, but plays with, the grid of Main Post, while JCF and Olin also do a good job of segueing from that Main Post grid to the waterfront and Crissy Field.
The West 8 proposal, with all its trees, is at odds with what I understand to be the PT’s goal of opening up the vistas (and connectivity) from Main Post to the waterfront.
And even with these materials, I still don’t get what CMG is trying to do.
I guess I must differ with the esteemed colleague above me, CMG I find the best. West 8 if this were 1965, and Olin my second favorite after CMG. Snohetta is ok, maybe I’m missing something but I don’t really see what’s interesting about it.
I find these all ugly, fussy and overwrought. One looks like the “National Yogi Zen Memorial.” Another like an Apple Store. Another like some sort of Star Trek Fleet HQ set piece. How about just some natural landscaping?
I wish that someone had simply continued the parade ground all the way to the Bay. It would create a great view from the Presidio quad to the water. But what do I know?
The Observation Post at least references the many old bunkers in the Presidio, and provides an an actual gathering space, rather than just more scenic overlooks and open fields. The others seem too high-concept to get unless you’re viewing it from a Blimp.
It’s hard to judge much on a handful of renderings but I’ll throw out my 2 cents anyway. Really like how the Olin & Snohetta designs open up and connect with the existing landscape but I find something about Snohetta’s scheme to be a bit uninteresting about it’s openness and crisscrossing connections, no sense of place or interesting spaces (this could just be the rendering). I also really like Presidio Point’s plan to extend and transform the existing parade ground and I’m very interested to see more on CMG’s plan, the observation post idea is very cool and creates a focal point that is now missing. West 8’s idea is interesting but it doesn’t create a connection that sews the two sides of the Presidio back together, it only links them.
God forbid it be left in a somewhat natural state.
The natural parking lot and natural construction debris?
don’t forget the natural concrete tunnel covers. why must we cover those with grass, paths, and play areas?
I forgot to add: Which would be an impossibility if parking or pavement currently exist, as these are impossible to remove.
Am I the only person who finds it odd that in an attempt to connect a higher elevation with a lower elevation, almost everyone has created a fake “bluff” or terrace as though we weren’t actually trying to connect the two areas?
Probably because they have to maintain an elevation roughly equivalent to the lower Main Post, in order to get over the top of the tunnels, and then in fairly short order drop down to the level of existing Mason Street (and the marsh / shore beyond).
And why no one is taking this two-elevations opportunity to create a “natural” amphitheater is another mystery.
CMG is my fave – love the natural feel of the cascade toward the marsh and bay, and the observation point, and the bridge to Crissy Field. The programming (if it ever comes to pass) is both playful and interesting.
As for JCF – the 1980’s called and want their big lawn back. In this era of water conservation and habitat restoration I don’t really see the appeal of a big lawn extending the main post. Same for West 8’s big bowl – a very boring connection to the marsh and Mason street at the bottom. Snohetta and Olin are interesting, but I found Snohetta’s presentation a bit too abstract – I got a sense of a lot of possibilities but not much definitive (other than that out-jutting promenade, which seems a big superfluous).
It’s good that many of them share common features – vista points, a sunken visitor center with both rooftop and interior view spaces, smaller intimate areas plus one or two larger gathering spaces. But few will be programmed as they propose. For instance, camping is a nice idea but if you’ve ever been to the Rob Hill campground in the Presidio you realize how much permanent hardscaping is needed to make it realistic (and accessible, as required by the NPS).
UPDATE: The Five Presentations In Full.
the proposal from West 8 , is just Bizzare , , the only one that I like at all came from CMG , “Observation Post”
jcfo. It enhances the site without being overly designed. It say something. Olin is too loud. That name – really?!? West 8 over scaled. Snohetta,CMG too generic.
UPDATE: High Line Architects Selected To Design Presidio Parklands Project.
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