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ASLA-NCC

American Society of Landscape Architects
Northern California Chapter

Awards

2017 Awards

Design: Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Spaces

Merit Award

Battery East Vista
San Francisco, CA
Meyer + Silberberg Landscape Architects
Principal Architect: Ramsey Silberberg
Client: Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

The design team spared no effort to restore the landscape in a manner that respected the existing ecological and historic elements, creating a destination enjoyed
by tourists and locals alike.
The site was revegetated with 3,500 native plants. The design team volunteered during planting, coming together to support their non-profit client in as many ways possible.
Instructive signage was installed throughout Battery East Vista. providing opportunities for outdoor learning and engagement.
Brass markers placed in the asphalt mark each battery and gun position.
The reconfiguration of the Bay Trail follows the historic “Covered Way” that linked the earthen batteries which were buried when the site became a landfill in the
1930’s.
Site features encourage play and discovery.
Scope framing Angel Island. The scopes, while also beautiful markers on the plaza, provide an interactive tool with which to learn about the site’s history, expand
interest and aid in discovery of the many cultural and ecological assets of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
A family of scope installations located at the edge of the outlook recall historic sites of military surveillance. Simultaneously, the scopes frame views of other key
destinations within the Golden Gate National Parks system.
Given the site’s rich historical context as a former military fortification, the design team worked in close collaboration with archeologists, military historians,
preservationists and ecologists to devise a family of instructive and innovative site features.
Terraced Seating.
Terraced walls activate the edge of the plaza, creating ample seating.
The site elegantly frames the ultimate “kodak moment”.
Views of the Golden Gate Bridge, bay, and hills beyond are discernable from various elevations and vantage points. One can enjoy views sitting on a bench atop the
elevated plaza or while cycling along the graded trail below.
Battery East Vista, which receives on average 6,000 visitors per day, is defined by graceful lines that create a theatrical connection to the Golden Gate.
Battery East Vista Site Plan.

Battery East Vista, one of the last remaining unimproved elements of the Presidio Bay Trail, has been transformed into an active theatrical overlook to the Golden Gate Bridge. In close collaboration with the Parks Conservancy and National Park Service, our team created an elegant and elemental design for the historic military site. The challenge was to preserve the open character of the landscape and reveal the beauty of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, while creating a place to accommodate thousands of daily visitors arriving by foot, bicycle and car. The solution was fundamentally simple: by reconfiguring the trail to align with the historic “covered way” that linked the earthen batteries, the circulation and relationship between the overlook and trail is greatly improved, while simultaneously recalling the history of the site. A pervious concrete plaza with terraced seating welcomes visitors to experience contemplative or active recreation at various elevations onsite. Interpretative signage and instructive scopes highlight park connections to surrounding historic military fortifications, offering ample opportunities for outdoor exploration and learning.