Treasure Island: A Regenerative Urban Ecology

(Click the image for a larger version).

Next Monday, once my NaNoWriMo adventure is over, regular posting will resume at Where. I'm excited to offer a little preview, today, of what's coming. I recently had the opportunity to interview Craig W. Hartmann, FAIA, Design Partner at Skidmore Owings and Merill's San Francisco office, about the firm's plan for the redevelopment of Treasure Island (which Where covered this past summer). Today's post is a preface to that interview...a teaser, if you will. The image above was created by Mr. Hartmann and three of his colleagues, Sa Hoon Kim, Angela Wu and Eric Keune working with the renderer, Allan Silverman, for the recent exhibit
Street Cred. According to Craig, this image "is not an 'officially sanctioned' piece for the development, but rather a speculation on my part about the potentially powerful relationship between the physical and cultural landscape - architecture, the street and the natural environment." The following text was written by Julie Kim, a curator for the exhibit.


Treasure Island: A Regenerative Urban Ecology

Rendering, plans and model of Neighborhood Connector Street

Located two miles off the northeastern shore of the San Francisco peninsula, Treasure Island is the site of one of the largest and most ambitious redevelopment plans in the city’s history. A collaborative effort led by the local office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and which proposes the development of a “holistic urban ecology,” it also seeks to set new benchmarks for the city’s environmental and social sustainability. By 2022, the former 400-acre Navy base will be “recycled” into a residential and commercial district that will house an estimated 13,500 people.

More than a utilitarian transportation network, the island’s streets are designed to respond to its microclimate while encouraging social interaction among its residents. The street grid is aligned due north-south—a 32-degree shift from its current orientation—to maximize the amount of sunlight entering buildings, and to protect parks from strong westerly winds. Residential areas will be centered on lively “social corridors,” or neighborhood streets which prioritize “human-powered” modes of transport, including pedestrians, bicycles, skateboards, and scooters, over vehicular use. Electric shuttle buses and cars will share the streetscape, but will be limited by mass.
A wetlands park will clean stormwater before it re-enters the Bay, and solar technology will send unneeded energy back to the grid. Overall, the plan is fiercely optimistic. Its designers have envisioned the site’s continued regeneration—the gradual improvement of a physical, natural, and social landscape over time—rather than presuming the dreadful impact of humans on the environment.

Street Design Concept: Craig W Hartman, FAIA, SOM with Tom Leader, ASLA, Tom Leader Studio

Renderer: AJ Silverman in conjunction with Eric Kuene, Angela Wu, and Sa Hoon Kim

Date & Status: 2006 | Ongoing

Client: Treasure Island Community Development, LLC

Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP

Design Team: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP with SMWM and CMG (Master Planning and Urban Design); Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP (Overall Conceptual Architectural Design); SMWM, BCV, Hornberger Worstell (Associated Architects); CMG with Tom Leader (Landscape Architecture); ARUP (Sustainable Design); Korve, ARUP and Concept Marine Associates (Civil Engineering and Transportation); Treadwell & Rollo and Engeo (Geotechnical Design); Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (Structural Engineering).

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