3rd Street Flashlight
San Francisco, CA
Lead Landscape Architect: Marcel Wilson
Client: Museum of Craft and Design
When is small huge? It is a matter of context. The 3rd Street Flash Light is an important place in a San Francisco district with no public space. Commissioned by a design museum, the flashlight claimed space from a busy street to create a safe place for people, social interaction, and events in a rapidly transforming postindustrial district. The flashlight uses a long faceted perimeter wall to engage the kinetic movement of the street and create a safe zone for people. As viewers from the street pass by the wall apparently changes color instantly. From the sidewalk the flashlight presents an unexpected offering of seating and social spaces. Lighting, high quality materials, and excellent detailing pack this public space with subtle but potent purpose. It is a new form of public space that confronts limitation and conventions with ingenuity and embedded intelligence. While physically small, it asserts big picture results and demonstrates how urban complexity can be engaged and manipulated to enable life in the most forbidding circumstances.