The San Francisco Department of Recreation and Parks has chosen landscape architecture firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) to lead the redesign of two parks along San Francisco's India Basin shoreline, SF Recs and Parks announced late last week. The development is the latest in a string of "creative placemaking" projects in the Bay Area aimed at making the region more livable and creatively engaging.
The firm won a design competition that asked applicants to reimagine two sites -- 900 Innes and India Basin Shoreline Park -- as a single, 1.5-mile-long stretch of park space along the city's southeast shoreline. SF Recs and Parks required the proposals to include five design elements: continuous connector trails, bike paths, increased access to the shoreline, enhanced habitats and gathering spaces. The design firms were also asked to restore the historic Shipwright’s Cottage at 900 Innes as well as find ways to provide recreation, such as human-powered boating.
Seattle-based GGN beat 19 other firms for the project. GGN is known internationally for its work. The company's portfolio includes projects for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus in Seattle, the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park in Chicago, and several projects with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., including the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
“India Basin includes a rare expanse of original tideflats and preserved boatyard architecture, says Shannon Nichol, founding principal of GGN. "Our approach to the competition further softened the shoreline, added walking routes across Innes Avenue between the water and the neighborhood, and sized the park's spaces for everyday activities.”
Located in what the parks department describes as "a long-neglected corner of the city," India Basin is one of San Francisco's last remaining tracts of wetlands, sitting in a post-industrial area near Bayview Hunter's Point with few amenities nearby. City officials say the park project will give new recreational access to nearby communities.