Design: Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space
San Francisco, CA
Lead Landscape Architect: David Fletcher
Team Member: Cory Hallam Designer and Project Manager
Client: South Park Improvement Association
South Park is the oldest park in San Francisco. Over 162 years of evolution, South Park has served the needs of diverse populations, including immigrants, refugees, designers, artists, and young professionals. The park redesign builds on this history, while solving the site’s infrastructural issues and making the park accessible to all. The design team worked with the neighborhood over three years, to develop and improve the masterplan. The team used parametric software to help evaluate land use, circulation patterns, tree conditions and drainage systems, and also to generate multiple 3-D iterations for path and wall layouts. This analysis translated into the formation of a tightly bound material system with four key components: an expandable, modular paving system; large sloping meadows; vegetated infiltration basins; and low retaining walls that mediate between paving and planting areas. Using a single, meandering pathway to link public plazas, informal stages, bioretention gardens, gently sloping meadows, and a custom play structure with the surrounding neighborhood, the park ties together disparate functions and creates a space that offers diversity of use.