CIVIC DESIGN REVIEW COMMITTEE
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70
Commissioners Present: Topher Delaney, Rene Bihan, Cass Calder Smith
Staff Present: Nancy Gonchar, Vicky Knoop
Call To Order: 3:05 p.m.
Bayview Opera House Landscape Design – Phase 1
Koa Pickering, Landscape Architect DPW BOE, introduced the project team, Peter Gabancho, SFMTA, and Judy Nemzoff, SFAC.
Ms. Nemzoff explained that the Bayview Opera House is one of the Arts Commission’s Cultural Centers, and its restoration has experienced great delay over the past several years. There are several City agencies currently working together for the plaza renovation including the Arts Commission, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, and SFMTA.
Mr. Pickering said the project has had over twenty-five community meetings in the past 9 years. The design concept is to enhance various transit connections and create a gathering space off of Third Street. The plaza offers informal and formal seating with low seat walls and space around the outdoor stage. Changes from the previous presentation include bringing symmetry to the design and removing the lawn area from the front of the stage. He pointed out that the plaza entrances will remain open at all times with bollards.
Commissioner Smith asked about the scope of work to be done to the Opera House building.
Tom Petersen, Cultural Centers Facilities Manager said that the Opera House was repaired and painted in 2008. Additional phases will occur as money becomes available, but most will be interior. The front of the building will be the main entrance and there may be changes to bring the building into compliance with ADA regulations.
Commissioner Bihan commented that the fencing should be looked at more carefully.
Commissioner Smith opened the floor to Public Comment.
Commissioner Smith closed the floor to Public Comment.
Motion to approve the Bayview Opera House Landscape Phase 1: Commissioner Delaney
Vote: Unanimously Approved
Harding Park – Phase 1
Edmund Shum, DPW BOA, introduced the project and explained that it is a joint venture between Daly City and SFPUC to reduce potable water used for irrigation of golf courses.
Reed Dillingham, Landscape Architect explained that they will construct an underground tank for recycled water beneath the parking lot. New paving and planting will be put in once construction is complete. He stated that the landscape plan includes as many native and drought tolerant plants as possible.
Commissioner Bihan asked if the tank will hold catchment water or grey water.
Joan Ryan, Daly City Project Engineer, explained that it will hold recycled water that is treated to a point that is acceptable for golf course irrigation.
Commissioner Delaney asked if the paving is permeable.
Ms. Ryan said that permeable paving could lead to structural damage of the tank, but storm water is directed and treated on site.
Commissioner Bihan commented that while grey water may be good for grasses, it isn’t good for native plants, and the plant palette should be looked into more closely.
Mr. Shum presented the perspectives of the above ground pump house and explained that it will have the same materials and color palette as the existing maintenance building. There will be natural ventilation, and the site will have a new accessible pathway.
Commissioner Smith said that Mr. Shum clearly thought about the project and site, but the architecture should be something more unique or unexpected. He requested that the architect put more imagination into the building.
Commissioner Bihan commented that the project and this structure are about sustainability, and the architecture should speak to that. He advised the architect to create a narrative so when you look at the building, you get the idea of the project.
Commissioner Smith agreed that the building should reflect the story of the reclaimed, recycled water and requested that the project return for Phase 1 and 2 review.
Tesla Treatment Facility – Phase 2
Bijan Ahmadzadeh, PUC Project Manager explained that the project is on schedule to complete construction in March 2011 and be compliant to State codes by March 2012. The main project objective is the regulation and treatment of water. Tesla is a primary facility for water treatment and will use UV treatment to ensure safe water.
Robert La Rocca, Landscape Architect presented the landscape plan via a pre-recorded video. Mr. La Rocca explained that the landscape reflects the location of the underground pipes, and the ventilation and Green Screen vine trellising echo the shape of the rolling foothills. Since Phase 1 review the site has been expanded to include an ancillary facility. The hills around the buildings will cradle the facilities so they are screened from the highway and locked together in the landscape form.
Peter Mueller, Stantec Architecture said that the scope of the project expanded the landscape since Phase 1 review. The trellising on the building is a marker for the function of the facilities by reflecting the location of the pipelines and references water through the growth of plants. The project will exceed Title 24 requirements for energy efficiency. Since the walls are thick, the windows and louvers have been set back creating shadows. Mr. Mueller stated that additional trees have been added to the project.
Commissioner Smith opened the floor to public comment. There was none.
Commissioner Bihan commented that the design reflects that the engineers, architects, and landscape architect are working cooperatively. He added that plants need to be very resilient and willows would need a lot of water to survive in that environment.
Commissioner Delaney commented that the landscape is a little too ornamental and suburban.
Commissioner Smith agreed that it would be a stronger landscape if it was more agricultural.
Mr. Mueller presented a materials board.
Commissioner Smith commented that there needs to be thought into how the landscape approaches the building and how the concrete is textured. He said that the wave idea does not translate well to the building and the green screen should all be brought up to the same height. He asked the project team to return for Phase 3 with revised textures, a slightly pulled back landscape and even trellis heights.
Motion to approve the Tesla Treatment Facility Phase 2: Commissioner Bihan
Vote: Unanimously approved.
SFMTA Cable Car Kiosk – Phase 2
Diane Hammons, SFMTA introduced the project and explained that the current kiosk has very poor working conditions yet serves millions of people each year. The project is important to the agency and there are many stakeholders interested in the design of the plaza where the kiosk is located. Recently, the Mayor’s Office moved the kiosk to a new location, and Ms. Hammons said she was not in favor of the new location.
The Committee agreed to write a letter of support for the relocation for the kiosk to it’s original position.
Olle Lundberg, Architect, Lundberg Design stated that the original approach was to tie the kiosk to the bus shelters design, but they decided to create a new design since the Phase 1 review. The new design begins with a milled stainless steel cube with cut outs to show a glowing red interior. There will be backlit panels for artwork with iconic images of the cable cars and a recessed seat. He explained that the awning tilts up during working hours and closes at night.
Commissioner Bihan commented that the design doesn’t present a clear function of the facility.
Commissioner Delaney stated that it is an interesting form and likes the red, but the design doesn’t honor the site or tourism. She said that it is not just a ticket booth but sends a message from the City. She suggested contacting the Convention and Visitors Bureau and offered to assist in this effort.
The Commissioners asked about alternative surfaces.
Mr. Lundberg responded that because of cost and maintenance issues, stainless steel with a random circular pattern is the best choice.
Commissioner Smith suggested that a solution is to sign the kiosk in a way that the function (tickets) is clear. He said it could be twice as high or be more visually vibrating in some way. He added that the stainless steel works well.
Commissioner Delaney commented that the kiosk will look great at night, but while the booth is open, it needs to be more exciting.
The Commissioners discussed options such as a living roof including redwood trees to the top of the building.
Commissioner Bihan summarized that the building has moved forward from the last design but needs to be more iconographic. Planting on the rooftop would bring life to the building, but the same goal can be achieved in many ways.
Hayes Valley Playground and Clubhouse Renovation – Phase 2
Jacob Gilchrist, Project Manager, introduced the project and explained the goals and mission of The Trust for Public Land. He said that the changes to the design are based on the comments made by the Commissioners in November.
Brian Milman, Project Architect WRNS Studio, stated that there has been a hedgerow added along Linden Street and the entire site will be fenced at night for security. He presented a materials board with the Trespa panel they will be using for the exterior and samples of the glass and metal. He added that the living roof is under some scrutiny because of maintenance issues.
Mr. Gilchrist explained that the landscape design will have mixed use of indoor/outdoor space, a fitness area, a planted area and two play spaces for children of different ages. The planting concept is to connect people with nature through plants that engage their senses such as lambs ear and lavender.
Commissioner Smith opened the floor to public comment.
Jim Rochelle, a community member, commented favorably on the project.
Commissioner Smith closed the floor to public comment.
Mr. Milman stated that they are working with the Arts Commission Public Art Program and have selected an artist to create a mosaic for the entryway.
The design team asked the Committee to write a letter of support for the living roof on the building.
The Commissioners agreed and suggested a partial ladder and gate for safer gardener access to the roof.
Motion to approve Phase 2 of the Hayes Valley Playground and Clubhouse Renovation : Commissioner Bihan.
Vote: Unanimously approved
There was no new business.
Adjournment: 5:45 p.m.