San Francisco / Public park on highway

Landscape architecture studio James Corner Field Operations, who collaborated on New York’s High Line, has been selected to create a huge public park bordering the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The Presidio Parklands – a five hectare strip of coastline leading up to the Golden Gate Bridge – will link an existing park in a former military base with the San Francisco Bay, covering a major roadway.

“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,” says James Corner. Renderings of the proposed Presidio Parklands design show a snaking walkway bordering the Bay’s marshland with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Sculptural wooden seating with the appearance of driftwood lines the path, separating it from a strip of grass. The pathway detaches itself from the shoreline to form an elliptical cantilever over a bank of planting and a cycle route below.

The land for the park will sit above a covered freeway and reconnect two parts of the former military base, previously separated by an elevated highway called Doyle Drive. The road will be rerouted into tunnels to create an open space. One part of the former military site – Crissy Field – was converted into a park in 2001 and currently attracts over one million visitors each year. Public consultations are expected to begin in early 2015, with the project set for completion by 2018.

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