2016 Awards

Design: General

Merit Award

The Barnacles at Pier 9
San Francisco, CA
Surfacedesign Inc.
Principal: Roderick Wyllie
Project Manager: Michal Kapitulnik
Client: Autodesk

The barnacle layout maximizes circulation and connections to the water.
Clusters of barnacles create multiple scales of spaces within the plaza.
The site invites visitors during the day and at night.
The geometry of the barnacle inspired the formal language of the barnacle benches.
Models and maquettes were used to study the form and finish of the barnacles.
The digital fabrication methods used to produce the concrete barnacles are celebrated as a design element.
The Barnacles at Pier 9 are a steady and quiet datum at the edge of the Bay.
The barnacles draw people into the plaza and provide a place to gather at the edge of the Bay.
Children invent new ways of engaging with the site.
At night the barnacles are illuminated from below, activating the plaza.

Perched between the Bay and the Ocean, San Francisco is surrounded by—and in many ways defined by—its waterfront context. This waterfront has been transformed over time—from tidally-influenced mudflats formed and reformed by wind, erosion and water—to a constructed, armored-edge. This hard edge comprised of piers, docks and wharfs was also formed over time—through a deployment of a complex framework for siltation, accretion and reclamation. Once central to the vibrant shipping industry in San Francisco, the Eastern waterfront is now a collage of retail, restaurants, wholesale fish markets, tourist destinations, private docks, public piers, parking lots and open space. Inspired by the natural history of the San Francisco Bay, The Barnacles at Pier 9 looked at transforming one of these spaces—the marginal wharf between Pier 9 and 11—into a public open space that celebrates the ecology of flux at the edge of the Bay.