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A first look at San Francisco's sensational new elevated park

The landscape architects behind the 9/11 Memorial opened Transbay Park in a part of San Francisco desperate for green space–and even helped change local zoning regulations.

From Fast Company:

"After more than a decade of planning, the first stage of San Francisco’s new transit hub is almost complete. The new Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects-designed Salesforce Transit Center, which spans several blocks in downtown San Francisco, will bring together 11 bus lines and eventually trains from around the Bay Area, organizing the city’s sprawling public transportation system. But all attention over the weekend was on the hub’s rooftop park, which opened to the public August 11.

The 5.4-acre Transbay Park, which occupies the entire roof of the transit center, is one of the largest stretches of greenery to open in San Francisco in years. It brings much-needed public, open space to a newly named neighborhood called the East Cut, a dense, heavily commercial area of the city that has few parks. The park has a public plaza that also connects via a skybridge to the fifth floor of the Salesforce Tower next door, along with an amphitheater, lawns, and botanical gardens.

Designed by PWP Landscape Architecture, which codesigned the 9/11 memorial plaza in New York, the park is similar to a number of other urban parks that seek to use green space to offset the carbon footprint of their cities and make them more livable. But this park is unique for effecting more sweeping change." ...

Keep reading at Fast Company...

Richard Haag is remembered for his designs, inspiration and passion

From The Daily Journal of Commerce:

"Richard Haag, an award winning landscape architect who designed the internationally respected Gas Works Park in Seattle and founded the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington, died May 9 of natural causes. He was 94.

Haag was also known for designing Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, redesigning Seattle Center after the World's Fair to make it a public park, and designing Steinbrueck Park in Seattle with Victor Steinbrueck. ...

Peter Walker, a partner with PWP Landscape Architecture in Berkeley, worked with Haag in Halprin's office in the mid-1950s. He said Haag was one of the funniest and the most passionately political people he's ever met — an environmentalist in the 1950s when few people were.

“He would go to city hall and yell and scream,” said Walker. “You didn't want to be on the other side of Rich's passion. He was formidable.”

Walker said Haag also trained some great landscape architects, and encouraged them to stand up and make a difference, including the late Frank James who taught at Harvard."

To keep reading, visit The Daily Journal of Commerce  ...

  

 

  

Architectural Record interviews PWP Partner Adam Greenspan

From Architectural Record:

"Keep your eye on Adam Greenspan, design partner at the Berkeley-based PWP Landscape Architecture, founded by the esteemed Peter Walker. Greenspan is just completing two remarkable—and vastly different—projects in which landscape and architecture are inextricably intertwined. For Glenstone, in suburban Maryland, a 200-acre park with a new contemporary art museum designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners, set to open in October, Greenspan and his team created a 21st-century arcadia for the clients, Mitchell and Emily Rales; in San Francisco, the office has built a five-acre respite for urbanites atop the Salesforce Transit Center designed by Pelli Clark Pelli (PCP), amidst a cluster of skyscrapers, including the city’s tallest, Salesforce Tower, also by PCP. Greenspan spoke with RECORD editor in chief Cathleen McGuigan about the two projects. Here are excerpts from their conversation."

Keep reading at Architectural Record...

Glenstone expansion to open in October with impressive lineup

From Architect News:

"The new 'The Pavilions' space by Thomas Phifer and Partners (with landscapes designed by PWP Landscape Architecture) is scheduled to open on October 4 and will showcase pieces by big name artists like Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp, Richard Serra, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

'Incorporated seamlessly into Glenstone’s 230-acre landscape, the Pavilions comprises 11 distinct rooms installed with artworks drawn exclusively from the museum’s collection, grouped around a lushly planted, 18,000-square-foot Water Court,' explains the museum's announcement. 

'At the time of the opening, the building will feature a number of spaces dedicated to single-artist installations, including major works by Michael Heizer, Roni Horn, On Kawara, Brice Marden, Lygia Pape, Charles Ray, and Cy Twombly, among others. In addition, a presentation of 65 works by 52 artists will occupy the largest room in the Pavilions, a column-free space of 9,000 square feet. The exhibition will offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy a more extensive selection of masterworks dating from 1943 to 1989.'"

To keep reading, visit Architect News...

Related Links: More Space, More Intimacy with More Art (Artholics); Glenstone museum previews its Thomas Phifer-designed expansion (designboom)

  


Thousands jam new Transbay Transit Center for its open house

Thousands of visitors flocked to the grand opening to get their first look at the park that sits atop the Transbay Transit Center.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Thousands of visitors jammed the new Transbay Transit Center for its grand opening party Saturday, tapping their toes to live music while waiting to hop on crammed escalators that carried them to the bustling bus deck and sprawling 5.4-acre rooftop park.

Lines stretched the length of the Grand Hall as people tried to get into the $2.2 billion multistory transportation hub.

Visitors climbed onto vintage buses parked on the bus desk as part of the Historic and Contemporary Bus Expo, adults sipped alcoholic beverages and played Foosball in the Main Plaza, and children rolled down soft hills of grass overlooking chaotic San Francisco streets and hustling pedestrians.

'I never expected this center to finish or to be this good,' said Elias Berhanu of San Francisco. 'I remember before construction even started, when we had the old Transbay Terminal, which you didn’t even feel comfortable standing in.'"

Read more at San Francisco Chronicle .

Related Links: $2.26 billion Salesforce Transit Center opens to huge crowds, great expectations (ABC News)Crowds at Capacity at Brand New Salesforce Transit Center (NBC Bay Area)Salesforce Transit Center's 'Block Party' A Crowded Affair (SFGATE)Bay Area gains new icon with San Francisco’s ‘Grand Central station of the West’ (The Mercury News)

Let's Talk about the Public Art at the New Transbay Transit Center

From KQED Arts:

"Part park, part bus station and aspirational future high-speed rail terminus, the new Transbay Transit Center opens with literal fanfare (courtesy of the West Grand Bass Band) on Aug. 11, followed by a number of exceedingly family friendly events, including an instrument “petting zoo” for kids, drumming and dance performances, a redwoods 'talk & touch' and a yoga class. Bus service begins the following day.

Missing from that list of events is any mention of the building’s four public art pieces, facilitated by the San Francisco Arts Commission, which punctuate a hovering white structure designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, the “day” to the old bus depot’s dark, cold, concrete-bunker-like 'night.'

For some of the artists involved, the Aug. 11 opening is the culmination of upwards of 10 years of planning, proposing, altering, testing and overseeing their public art projects.

On the ground floor, Bay Area-based artist Julie Chang designed the grand hall’s 20,000-square-foot terrazzo floor, a swirling design of native flora and fauna punctuated by geometric patterns representing a smorgasbord of source material, including African textiles, Chinese calligraphy, pottery design, genetic mutations, Islamic tile and wallpaper." 

To keep reading, visit KQED Arts.

At Transbay Transit Center, buses coming up ramp trigger geysers in park

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Sitting amid the redwoods and Japanese maples in the new park atop the Transbay Transit Center, visitors can’t hear or see the buses on the ramp one floor down. Instead, they see intermittent jets of water that shoot up along a bed of white and gray granite, tracing the path of vehicles passing directly below.

It takes a trainspotter to puzzle out that the geysers are triggered by a bus, looping into the terminal from the Bay Bridge. But that’s the catch to “Bus Fountain,” one of four pieces of public art for the long-awaited terminal.

“The fountain is like a huge musical instrument that is played by the bus drivers,” said artist Ned Kahn of Sebastopol during a recent test.

As the creator behind “Bus Fountain,” Kahn, 58, explained that there are nozzles planted along the granite stream bed and that each nozzle is attached to a sensor attached to the ceiling of the bus deck below. The water shoots up in time with the buses passing underneath — as many as 100 an hour during the commute rush — for an orchestrated water show."

...Read more at San Francisco Chronicle.

How Salesforce Transit Center Helps Transform A Neighborhood

Salesforce Transit Center has become a reality that generated a building boom

From BisNow:

“Salesforce Transit Center has become a reality that generated a building boom in that area,” Transbay Joint Powers Authority Executive Director Mark Zabaneh said. “The minute the developers saw the transit center under construction, they started developing the parcels.”

The Aug. 11 opening of the transit center’s rooftop park, Salesforce Park, marks the end of the center's initial transformation. The bus terminal will open to full operations on Aug. 12. “It’s going to be a really significant achievement that surpassed expectations,” Zabaneh said.

“The park is a big attraction. There is very limited quality public space and the park provides 5.4 acres of really quality public space.” He said there has been a lot of enthusiasm for the rooftop park and the most-asked question has been about the park’s opening date." Read more at BisNow...

Peter Walker, FASLA speaks at UC Berkeley's 'Planting Aesthetics' Symposium

From Landscape Architecture Magazine:

"As landscape design coalesces more and more around an infrastructural and regenerative mandate, there’s been less emphasis on what is perhaps the most fundamental (and broadly shared) conception of what landscape architecture is: the aesthetic arrangement of plantings. That’s the view of a recent symposium held at the University of California, Berkeley’s Landscape Architecture + Environmental Planning department, organized by the professor emeritus of architecture Marc Treib. The Aesthetics of Planting Design symposium, held February 17–18, invited landscape architects and historians to lecture on a topic that’s been lately marginalized by sustainability, resilience, and social justice.

In his introduction, Treib begins by questioning the notion that “good morals automatically yield good landscapes,” though he emphasizes that all landscapes have a dual responsibility to both art and beauty, as well as resiliency and conservation. While planting aesthetics are most commonly addressed in small gardens, according to Treib, it’s seldom discussed at a civic (or larger) scale—though notable exceptions include the designers invited to lecture at this very event. This international group of presenters includes Peter Walker, FASLA; Christine Ten Eyck, FASLA; Andrea Cochran, FASLA; and Kate Cullity."

Watch the Symposium introduction video at Landscape Architecture Magazine...

Jewel at Singapore's Changi Airport will solve 5 problems you never knew you had

Jewel, a 10-story extension opening at Singapore's Changi Airport in 2019, will help travellers unwind with attractions including stunning indoor waterfall and Canopy Park. PWP designed the landscape spaces within the expansive building dome by Safdie Architects.

From STYLE at South China Morning Post:

"Singapore’s idea of building a link between Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 and Terminals 2 and 3 is probably going to win it several more years of the title as the World’s Best Airport.

Jewel Changi, the multi-use 10-storey structure, will combine attractions, dining outlets, shopping and accommodation for weary travelers.

While Jewel Changi will serve many of the needs you may have while travelling – early check-in counters, baggage services, passenger lounge, shopping for that last-minute souvenir – there are a few other problems you never knew you had, or have just brushed off as a mundane consequence of travelling.

Here is how Jewel Changi’s attractions will solve these problems when it opens in 2019." ...

To keep reading, visit STYLE at South China Morning Post...

Public invited to tour Transbay Transit Center

From ABC News:

"Before the Transbay Transit Center opens next month, members of the public are invited to sign up for guided tours.

The Transbay Joint Power Authority is offering four themed tours between July 31 and August 4 as the Salesforce Transit Center gears up for its first day of full bus operations on August 12.

Overseen by an eight-member board of directors, TJPA was created by Caltrans, the California High Speed Rail Authority, the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District and the City and County of San Francisco to develop the new terminal and surrounding neighborhood." ...

To keep reading, visit: ABC News.