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Castro Commons

San Francisco

The Pavement to Parks Program introduces small public parks in street space previously dominated by automobiles. The program is designed to test the viability of these parks with low-impact installations that can be removed rapidly if need be. Boor Bridges performed 100% of their services pro bono to design the 2nd iteration of one such park where 17th, Market, and Castro converge.

The first iteration of this park was designed by Public Architecture to be removed within one year of installation. At the end of the trial run the community approved the design of a more permanent installation. Boor Bridges led a design collaboration with Flora Grubb to install gardens in massive concrete planters at the three main corners of the park. These new planters rise up towards the traffic and slope down to seating height at the courtyard. They make the plants look taller, the cars seem smaller, and the people a little safer. Sculptor Paul Cesewski fabricated two asymmetric gates of recycled steel to close the park off along Castro street.  We designed these gates to swing out of the way in case of an emergency or street festival while carrying massive glazed terra pots planted with olive trees.

Location: San Francisco
Cost: $50,000
Completion: June 2010
Photography: Boor Bridges Architecture

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