James Corner Field Operations, the architects behind the acclaimed High Line in New York City, has been selected to lead the design of the 13-acre Presidio Parklands project, connecting the Presidio’s historic core with Crissy Field for the first time in over eighty years.

“I could not be more delighted with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said James Corner, Founder and Director of Field Operations. “I feel both honored and humbled by the challenge. This is an extremely significant opportunity for the people of San Francisco to create a dramatic new legacy for future generations – a place where the Presidio meets the Bay, a place where the City can reflect back upon itself, a place where urban life meets the most amazing natural resources, unparalleled by any other city. Through sensitive and thoughtful design, we can together create a beautiful center-point for new forms of community, engagement and interaction.”

With support from San Francisco-based architecture firm EHDD and input from the public (workshops will commence in early 2015), the Presidio Parklands Project is expected to be completed in 2018.

Field Operations was one of the five finalists who were competing for the commission.

10 thoughts on “High Line Architects Land Presidio Parklands Project”
  1. This is great news. I hope the strength of their design survives the NIMBY process. And that JCF is open to incorporating some of the strengths of the other designs, too (IP laws and rights permitting!).

    1. It’s federal property, not San Francisco – wouldn’t that mitigate the influence of the usual NIMBY crowd who’ll protest anything and everything?

      For the record, I like JCF’s renderings. Looking forward to this.

    2. Why do they need to incorporate some of the “strengths” of the other designs? They won because their proposal was stronger that the others.

      1. Uh, because their design, while the best of the bunch, wasn’t perfect? Because some of the other proposals, while inferior overall, had some great ideas? Because a smart person learns from others and strives to improve their work?

        I’d hate to hire an architect based on an initial design, and then find that they were unwilling (let alone actively opposed to) making improvements here or there.

  2. Good choice. I hope that this part of the Presidio will become a model of public park design in the 21st century, much at Golden Gate Park shows the vision of the 19th century.

  3. I second that – James Corner Field Operations is a definitely good choice!
    But for the record James Corner Filed Operations are not the “High Line Architects” (that was Diller Scofidio Renfro), and are in fact not architects at all — rather they are the High Line Landscape Architects (architecture and landscape architecture are two different disciplines, and professional licensures)…

  4. The article was clear that they were not picked based on the design, but on the vision and expertise the design showed. The actual design process is just getting underway. I really hope they incorporate some of the great ideas from the other entrants, especially CMG.

    I really don’t like the huge lawns in the JCFO proposal – feels wrong in times of drought and natural preservation. I hope they look at CMG’s approach to mimicking and extending the dunes/bluffs with native vegetation, rather than their original proposal of huge swaths of grass that need water, fertilizer, etc to stay good looking. Just look at the state of the grass at Crissy Field. It’s pretty to look at from afar, but up close it’s very lumpy, pocked by gopher holes, and not very enjoyable to play on or sit on.

    1. I agree with you – JCF was my second choice; I preferred CMG’s proposal because it had a more “natural” feel – I like the way they incorporated bluffs with native vegetation to give the transition of space a more seamless fell.

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