Register: APR/13/2018, Submit: APR/27/2018, Eligibility: Architecture students – undergraduate and graduate, recent graduates or related degrees; recent graduates who have graduated 2 years before of the competition, young architects; individually, teams up to 4 members, Fee: Individually 50 EUR, teams 75 EUR (JAN/22 – MAR/09/2018), individually 75 EUR, teams 100 EUR (MAR/10 – APR/13/2018), Awards: 1st Prize 3,750 EUR, 2nd Prize 1,500 EUR, 3rd Prize 625 EUR, Arquideas Special Prize 500 EUR, up to 5 Honorable Mentions
San Francisco is the fourth largest city in the State of California, with a population of around 860,000 distributed over 121 km2. It is located on the West Coast of the United States, on the north end of the San Francisco peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean to the west and connected to the mainland to the south.
Because it is surrounded on three sides by water, the climate of San Francisco is heavily influenced by Pacific currents, which tend to moderate temperature fluctuations, producing a mild climate with little seasonal variation, mild wet winters and dry summers.
San Francisco has a history of devastating earthquakes and fires caused by the seismic activity of the San Andreas and Hayward faults.
Today San Francisco is one of the most important cities of the United States, one of the most well-known cultural, technological and financial centres of California, at the leading edge of research in biotechnology and biomedicine, where the opportunities generated by the internet revolution continue to attract residents and skilled workers with high salaries. It also welcomes more than 16 million tourists a year, drawn by the iconic image of the city. Its music, cinema and monuments are recognized around the world.
It is also well known for its cultural diversity, with large Asian and Latin American populations, and for being the centre of the American counterculture, as it is the city where the Hippy movement arose and later the movement for homosexual rights.
But the growth of San Francisco has also been heavily influenced by its port throughout its history. In 1849, during the California Gold Rush, the small trading post known as Yerba Buena became the incoming port for numerous ships transporting thousands of fortune hunters from all over the world. The population grew from 400 to 25,000 residents in just one year. The promise of great fortunes was so tempting that the crews of the arriving ships deserted them and hurried to the gold fields, leaving the Port of San Francisco filled with ghost ships. Mud and gravel was dumped into the bay due to mining activity, extending the boundaries of San Francisco 10 blocks out from its natural border.
In addition, because the bay was a shallow estuary with a jagged coast of sandy banks and rocky promontories, it was difficult to build deep water piers. To accommodate the growing inflow of ships, a great seawall was planned that would round off the coast and allow land to be reclaimed. This construction required massive amounts of filling material, for which the city used everything available, including garbage. The result was what is known as the Embarcadero, from which numerous piers extend out into the bay along the north-eastern coast of San Francisco.
With the outbreak of World War II, the port became a military logistics centre involving nearly all the piers, with ships and troops and warships docked all along the Embarcadero.
After the war and the arrival of container ships, commercial traffic moved to the Port of Oakland, thanks also to the construction of the Bay Bridge. The piers fell into disuse and, overshadowed by the two tier highway separating them from the city, they were relegated to storage or abandoned.
After the Embarcadero highway was torn down in 1991, the area was reopened to downtown, allowing it to be redeveloped.
Today, the north-eastern shore of San Francisco has been reborn as a walking path flanked by palm trees and with a trolley, where numerous piers have been transformed into restaurants, office buildings and commercial areas. There are plans to build a museum, a cruise ship terminal and other services and attractions for residents and visitors.
OBJECTIVE OF THE COMPETITION
The objective of this competition for students of architecture and young architects, Bay Book House (BaBH) San Francisco, consists in proposing a space for cultural exchange that will activate one or several of the unused piers of the historic Port of San Francisco.
Thanks to its privileged location, the proposed space will seek to become an international meeting point for students and researchers, as well as for lovers of culture and general knowledge, where consultation, open-air reading or technological innovation will attract inhabitants or visitors.
The BaBH aspires to be the future of traditional libraries, an evolution in the how we understand, use and enjoy this source of knowledge, a museum of (not) books adapted to today’s world, and where culture becomes a unique sensory experience.
A flexible and multicultural space made in the image of San Francisco, a reference point for research where the most brilliant minds, students and intellectually curious from around the world will live in harmony with a space that provides them cutting-edge resources for their development.
The building must offer a unique experience, absorbing the privileged setting, where the vistas of the San Francisco Bay or skyline play an important role in opening the mind to knowledge, paying special attention to sustainability and integration in the area where it is located to create a “garden of knowledge”.
In a city filled with iconic images known around the world, this new space should become the new cultural reference of San Francisco, the flagship of the strong shoreline that is currently flowering.
The BaBH will provide a space for the exchange of knowledge on the shore of San Francisco.
The project can be freely developed on any point of the proposed area and it is up to the participants to search for a balance between the suggested uses and the setting where it is located.
Each proposal can define the uses and dimensions considered necessary for the estimated visitors and to fulfill the idea of the project put forth by each participant or participating group.
The following are some of the proposed uses:
- Media centre
- Knowledge exchange area
- Individual work spaces
- Open air reading areas and gardens
- Storage area
- Lobby/ foyer
The possible uses can be modified or omitted according to the approach of each participant.
The BaBH should preferably be located between the Bay Bridge and South Beach Harbour, although it can be located on any other pier in the Port of San Francisco.
The project can be freely developed in one or various locations in the area marked on the attached graphic documentation. There are no criteria for land usage, giving each team or individual participant free rein to develop their ideas.