INVESTIGATING SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA EXAMPLES OF URBAN TYPOLOGIES
URBAN GATHERING TYPES
Mint plaza is an interesting urban plaza type that was created by CMG landscape architects. The 290’-long portion of Jessie Street is located between Fifth and Mint Street. One of the more interesting aspects to this project is the simple design that maximizes use of the site. The site is framed by three pieces of architecture and open to wide variety of uses. The site was a street but now it is turned into an urban gathering area, which is fascinating because of transformation and mixed-use aspects of it. The other interesting aspect is the use of materials and how this plaza is built to last with the use of wood, aggregate stone pavers and steel.
MATERIAL: AGGREGATE STONE
SECTION DIAGRAM SUN 8 STORIES
50’ - 60’
UNION SQUARE PLAZA
SPACE ACTIVATION DIAGRAM Retail
Union square is an interesting urban plaza type because of its location within the city. It is one city block in size and surrounded by many high-end retail stores and hotels. What makes it interesting is how these retail stores activate the site and the cafes found on each corner of the square. The cafes act as anchors that invite people into the space. The large central gathering space in the middle also provides a space for large gathering crowds.
CITY HALL CIVIC PLAZA
San Francisco City Hall is locate along major street called Van Ness Ave which is also Highway 101. San Francisco City Hall is surrounded by governmental and cultural buildings such as supreme court, Phillip Burton federal building, civic center, Asian art museum, and public library. It seems like a symbol of San Francisco. Civic center plaza is located in front of city hall, exercise such as jogging and tai chi, and large and small scale events take place. In September of last year, Dew Tour which was a skateboarding, bicycle and freestyle motocross event took place and streets were closed down. San Francisco Recreation and Park department worked hard to strategically activate Civic Center Plaza so that it can be a fun, clean and safe public space for children and families living in the Market neighborhoods. The plaza provides long corridor connecting to UN Plaza. There are a lot of pollarded sycamore trees on a lawn panel with an octagon path.
While walking around the MOMA a painting caught my attention; which prompted me to read the literature of the piece carefully. The painting (landscape), which is not shown due to photographical restrictions, â€œrequires careful examination to determine where one material ends and the other begingsâ€? DeFeo. Haven just been on the rooftop garden; it prompted a question of whether materials in a plaza need to have a distinct beginning and end. The idea of the plaza, and beyond, was no longer hindered by soft edges or beginnings and ends. Plazas in the Dodger Stadium area could work without distinct beginnings and ends; Just like the Oil with tape on canvas by DeFeo worked.
INVESTIGATION DAY 2 SYSTEM TYPES GREEN ROOFTOP AT THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
The green roof is a 2-acre project with attributes of domes emerging from the roof in a way that looks like rolling hills. The interesting feature is the use of plant material, which opens up opportunities for wildlife. There are also the qualities of problematic issues from wind erosion to the establishment period and the fact that in 40 years they are going to have to tear it apart and start over. As an experiment for the future of urban ecology this is a great example of how the systems come and don’t come together.
ROOF GARDEN SKETCH
Sutra baths is a very interesting site because it was originally built as the world’s largest indoor swimming pool. It is located along the edge of the water in San Francisco overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The large swimming pool and cliff house was destroyed during the earthquake and fires that took place in the early 20th century. Today only the ruins of the Sutra Baths remain. The site is run by the national parks services and recently a fresh water odder as taken up residence in the ruins.
EVERYTHING AND NOTHING
GOLDEN GATE PARK
Golden Gate Park is large urban park consisting of 1,017 acres of public ground in San Francisco. It is rectangle shape like Central Park but 20 % larger than Central Park. It is over 3 miles long from east to west and half mile from north to south. There are many major features in Golden Gate Park including California Academy of Science, de Young Memorial Museum, Japanese tea garden, San Francisco Botanical Garden, Bison Paddock, and so on. More than 13 million people visit its park every year. Connection from surroundings is that those people go to Golden Gate Park to experience great characteristics of its park, and there are so much events and activities going on along street called John F Kennedy Dr within its park.
The way the De Youngâ€™s upper level relates to the context of the where it is located could generate parallels that engage the on seer. Itâ€™s relation to the roof top of the academy of science (dodger stadium) and the miniature skyline in the background (Los Angeles Skyline) poses a question of whether it even relates.
The image shows connections that serve as a metaphor for what the area around Dodger stadium could and will become; a play with views and perception to bring the distant into a backyard.
INVESTIGATION DAY 3
SITE SCALES TYPES
PALACE OF THE FINE ARTS
What was interesting about this project was the use of scale and proportion within context to the site and the user. The palace sits next to the lagoon, which makes for a scenic site. The most notable aspect from this site is the use of sculpture on the columns, which expresses a sense of art and elegance. The use of classic roman architecture gives this site identity and one cant stop but to be amazed by the spectacle.
TONY’S PIZZA PARKLET
Tony’s Pizza Parklet that was designed by Rebar Art and Design Studios in San Francisco. Essentially the space is a few parking spots taken over by these modular stages that create a public space to be used by the restaurants for café style seating along the street. What’s interesting about this site is how they use the parking spots to create temporary space to widen the sidewalk and create space for cafes without destroying or changing anything. They just bring in the prefabricated and install it within hours. It’s a great solution to a urban problem with great results.
HUMAN SCALE DIAGRAM
COIT TOWER/TELEGRAPH HILL
Coit Tower is 210 foot high tower on Telegraph Hill in Pioneer Park, San Francisco. Because of heavy traffic in the area, the best way to get up to Coit Tower is to walk through the energetic streets of North Beach to Filbert Street. The hill is one of the steepest short distance in San Francisco, but the street has steps to make the trek a little bit easier. For a break, pause halfway up and turn to the west to get a glimpse of the great view. The San Francisco bus system offers a convenient trip going to Coit Tower. Coit Tower is isolated from surroundings unlike City Hall and Golden Gate Park. There are about 20 parking spots so that people are force to walk up there or take a bus to get up there.
Golden Gate Bridge Vista Plaza The scale at which the Golden Gate Bridge juxtaposes the integrated Los Angeles Skyline in the background shows just how powerful a structure and or idea can do to the immediate scale at which a person experiences a space. It was at this time in the trip that I realized just what an impact a project like the one we are working on could have on the representation of Los Angeles.
LA 401 Lab Studio trip exploring landscape typologies in San Francisco, Calfornia