Today the Presidio Trust announced the selection of James Corner Field Operations (Field Operations), a New York City-based firm, to design 13 acres of new Presidio parkland at the Golden Gate.
Field Operations, best known for leading the design and construction of the High Line in New York City, is celebrated for its work transforming urban sites into treasured public spaces. Field Operations was selected from a group of five internationally-renowned design finalists. The New Presidio Parklands Project is a partnership between the Presidio Trust, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the National Park Service (NPS).
“The New Presidio Parklands Project has garnered the interest and excitement of some of the world’s most talented and creative design teams,” said Craig Middleton, Presidio Trust Executive Director. “Field Operations’ record of accomplishment, deep appreciation for the site, and commitment to engaging the community makes them an ideal partner for this magnificent opportunity.”
The new Presidio parklands will be created by replacing Doyle Drive, an elevated highway, with an at-grade roadway covered by beautifully landscaped tunnels. The new land above the freeway will reconnect two Presidio destinations: the historic Main Post and the Crissy Field waterfront at San Francisco Bay. Once completed in 2018, the new landscape will offer visitors an unparalleled experience of the Golden Gate.
"In 2001, with generous community support, we transformed Crissy Field from a former military refuse area into a beautiful shoreline park that is now enjoyed by more than a million visitors each year,” said Greg Moore, President and CEO of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. “We believe the New Presidio Parklands Project is the capstone to over a quarter century of park making in the Presidio which will reconnect Crissy Field to the Presidio's Main Post and become a resplendent site for recreation, relaxation and exploration.”
Field Operations is an internationally recognized landscape architecture and public realm design firm. Major projects include New York City’s acclaimed High Line; Santa Monica’s Tongva Park and Ken Gensler Square; Staten Island’s Fresh Kills Park; Philadelphia’s Race Street Pier; London’s South Park at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; Chicago’s Navy Pier; Seattle’s Central Waterfront; and Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront.
“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.”
Field Operations will be supported by a dynamic interdisciplinary team including San Francisco architecture firm EHDD. EHDD has a long history of creating world-class, visitor-oriented projects including the Exploratorium at Pier 15, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Lands End Lookout in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Public input will continue to be essential in shaping the final concept for the New Presidio Parklands Project. Workshops starting in early 2015 will invite broad community participation.
“Now that we have identified a team, we encourage the public to share their ideas about what they would like to see at the New Presidio Parklands,” said Frank Dean, Superintendent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. “This is an opportunity to shape what will be a park site for the ages, and which will also allow a cohesive and rich visitor experience of the resources of this former military post.”
The New Presidio Parklands Project is expected to be completed in 2018. Interviews with project leaders and Field Operations are available by request.