Presidio | Parklands

San Francisco, CA

The new Observation Post frames, enhances, and highlights the views and natural phenomena of this national treasure in a variety of experiences and destinations, from the grand to the intimate.

CMG led a finalist team in the reimagining of thirteen acres of new park land in the Presidio over the new Doyle Drive tunnel. Our proposal, The Observation Post, examined the unique position that the Presidio holds as a national treasure and a neighborhood park, complemening the grandness of the setting while also serving local users.

The Observation Post proposal has three main goals. First, we make a clear and inviting physical connection from the waterfront to the Presidio’s Main Post. Second, we aspire to create a rich and varied foreground for the site’s expansive views and infrastructure. Finally, we integrate contiguous landscapes by creating habitats for native plants, wildlife, and people.

We call our project the Observation Post, which like the Main Post is a collection of buildings and landscapes. In the tradition of the historic military post and its location on the bay, this is a place of observation: the Golden Gate, passing ships, fog, wind, seasonal blooms, and patterns of wildlife. It is also a landscape of discovery. Embedded in these spaces are instruments, images, and observation tools that enhance a visitor’s relationship to the past, present, and future landscape. Finally, it is a landscape of participation, where users engage with the site and each other.

While the design enables varied journeys, the new Observation Post is a destination in itself, a gateway to the Presidio, a place of intimate experiences, expansive views, and immersive landscapes.