Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Hayes Valley Playground and Clubhouse in San Francisco, California by WRNS Studio
September 29th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: WRNS Studio
The nonprofit Trust for Public Land (TPL) partnered with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department to update this 1958 park located between San Francisco’s Hayes Valley and Western Addition neighborhoods. Reflecting TPL’s mission to create livable communities through land conservation, the new playground and clubhouse provide this dense area with a safe, welcoming facility that fosters an appreciation for nature, outdoor activity, and social gathering.
Nestled into a slight incline along the site’s southern edge, the low-profile steel and glass clubhouse frames views of the city and brings focus to the site’s open playground and park areas, beckoning visitors from the main entrance on Hayes Street. Clad in a rain screen of vibrant blue Trespa panels, the facility communicates activity and vitality. Patrons have access to a large community recreation room and a multiuse computer room. These two main volumes, or pavilions, are joined by a living roof, which covers the office, kitchen, and restrooms and creates a protected porch-like space below. As it matures, the living roof will come to feel like an extension of the park.
The facility integrates a holistic system of passive site and building strategies, including the living roof, solar hot water heating, and passive cooling. Building orientation takes maximum advantage of the site’s sun and wind conditions, allowing for optimal daylighting and ventilation. Other sustainable design elements include recycled denim insulation, low-flow toilets, Forest Stewardship Council certified wood, and native, drought-tolerant plantings. The ventilated rain screen provides additional insulation. The outdoor playground incorporates recycled materials and pervious surfaces to further minimize environmental impact.
Direct feedback and involvement from the surrounding community significantly influenced the design development of the park. From the project’s inception, TPL engaged local organizations in a series of in-depth meetings and held public design forums. Through these interactions, several priorities – including high quality, contemporary design, and green features – were refined to become substantial elements of the final project.
The project was the first of three sites in the city to participate in TPL’s Parks for People – San Francisco Initiative, supported by five local corporations and other private funders. Hayes Valley Playground and Clubhouse also received funding from the City and County of San Francisco. Working in partnership with the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department, TPL hired WRNS Studio as part of Public Architecture’s 1% Program.
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