Architecture

Heatherwick Studio plans horseshoe-shaped park on the waves

Heatherwick Studio plans horse...
Should all go to plan, The Cove is slated to be completed in 2026
Should all go to plan, The Cove is slated to be completed in 2026
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Should all go to plan, The Cove is slated to be completed in 2026
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Should all go to plan, The Cove is slated to be completed in 2026
The Cove would replace a ruined pier on the current waterfront site in San Francisco
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The Cove would replace a ruined pier on the current waterfront site in San Francisco
The Cove would enable visitors to enjoy the sheltered waters
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The Cove would enable visitors to enjoy the sheltered waters
The Cove would be easily accessible from the shore
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The Cove would be easily accessible from the shore
The Cove
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The Cove would include a central park area measuring 5 acres (2 hectares)
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Regular readers may recall Heatherwick Studio's ongoing Little Island park on stilts on New York City's Hudson River. The firm has now revealed plans to create something similar but even larger and more ambitious on San Francisco's waterfront. Named The Cove, it would replace the remnants of a ruined pier and car park with an attractive public park on the waves.

The project is slated for Piers 30-32 on the San Francisco South Beach waterfront and, like Little Island Park, would involve removing the existing piers and replacing them with new concrete supports, on top of which the horseshoe-shaped structure would be installed, with a view to future-proofing it against future sea level rising.

"The resilient design for The Cove includes the full removal and replacement of the existing piers with a new and higher, modern structural concrete pier system," explains the press release. "The existing piers are 108-years old, decades beyond a normal, useful service life, deteriorating, and have sustained a loss of structural capacity. More importantly, the existing pier deck and pile cap elevations are already below FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] Base Flood Elevations and the building code standards of today, notwithstanding the additional, forecasted sea level rise of 3 ft [0.9 m] or more tomorrow. New, modern pier structures are necessary, ethically, to safeguard human health and safety, and financially, to create an enduring asset for future generations and attract investment over the long term."

The Cove would enable visitors to enjoy the sheltered waters
The Cove would enable visitors to enjoy the sheltered waters

It certainly looks like a pleasant place to spend an afternoon and escape the bustle of the city. Much of the available space would be taken up by a central park area measuring 5 acres (2 hectares). It would include a general use plaza, a terrain made up of native trees and dune grasses, wetlands, and an oval boardwalk. Renders depict people taking part in water-based activities and a cinema screen would be placed at its center. The park would also be ringed by a two-building campus that would host office space and/or retail space.

The press release does make mention of The Cove being "highly sustainable" and "Net-Zero Carbon," but we've no more information on its sustainability at this early stage other than the renders showing solar panels being installed.

The project is seeking planning permission though is only in the preliminary stage. Assuming all goes well, it's slated for a 2026 completion. A large team is involved in this one alongside Heatherwick Studio, including Earthprise, Embarcadero Piers, Sares|Regis, and more.

Source: Heatherwick Studio

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5 comments
guzmanchinky
I love San Francisco, that looks wonderful. The only room to build there is out into the bay.
Username
When something new is replacing something old it would be nice to have a picture of the something old.
MemoriaTechnica
Draw a large square, boarding the shore, that's slightly larger than this proposed project, and fill it with an ugly flat parking lot and you've pretty much got it. Or check Google Maps satellite view.
MemoriaTechnica
Hey... Wait a min... Where's Red's Java House and the Hi Dive? ...Don't you even think about it! But ya, this looks cool
GregVoevodsky
I hope they have outside heaters. Outside of a few summer months, San Francisco is cold, wet, windy and foggy. So watching movies outside - really? How high tech for an outside screen on a wet and cold beach with 6 inch lapping waves with sunset skies is a fantasy. Also, anyone that kite boards or swims in the bay are wearing thick wetsuits with winds of 20mph+ - very cold.