Spanning three blocks, the park is located below the existing highway and future bus ramp with approximately 25% of the site open to the sky. This affords unique opportunities and constraints for the park design, giving it the potential to be a novel public place in San Francisco.
The park design responds to the variety of site conditions and edges with a series of a park “rooms,” divided by crossing streets, that are unified by circulation routes, color, lighting, and materiality. The spaces range from a children’s play area, to a beer garden, to a multilevel pavilion with park-serving retail and amenities. Each park room includes unique site elements, such as a playful slide route through the park’s various topographic levels, porch swings suspended from the overhead bus ramp, and a sculptural bouldering wall that encases a ramp column. Given the park’s 75% overhead ramp coverage, the selected materials and elements both actively and passively illuminate the space. In addition, CMG is working with the San Francisco Arts Commission to select a public artist for the primary objective of bringing sunlight from above into the space below.
The park elements and programming are distinctive, meant to attracting people throughout the day and throughout the year, and a look and feel to draw visitors from around the city. A stronger pedestrian and bicycle link between the Rincon Hill neighborhood to the south and the new Transit Center to the north reinforces the identity of this new neighborhood as a transit-oriented community, one that encourages residents and visitors to walk, bike, and take transit.
In addition to Under Ramp Park, CMG and its team of sub consultants have provided full design services for the Transbay Streetscape and Open Space plan, including the Transbay Folsom Streetscape design.