Swinerton Builders and WRT Unite Community Through New Townsend Street Parklet

In a collaborative display of their commitment to the local community, Swinerton Builders San Francisco and Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT) recently partnered to transform metered parking spaces in front of D’Urso Café Italian Delicatessen into the Townsend Street Parklet. On September 28th, Swinerton Builders and WRT joined community partners, sponsors and the local neighborhood for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate this new unique public space the entire community can enjoy.

At its heart, the Parklet design is a reflection of the neighborhood that it serves and its history.  The Parklet itself is three parking spaces in length and was constructed largely from reclaimed materials from buildings in the vicinity.  The primary structural components are 12×6 Douglas Fir timbers, 14 feet in length, that were salvaged from the recent interior renovation of the Ogden Meatpacking building, now occupied by Twenty Five Lusk, and held by the owners of ArcWood and Timber.  Both of these businesses are located on the alleys that frame the Parklet on Townsend – Lusk and Clyde Streets. These timbers are arranged both vertically – to create structure and create a modular rhythm, and horizontally – to provide seating, a bar, and an area for bike parking.

The flooring of the Parklet was constructed of reclaimed 2×6 tongue-and-groove decking, also donated from ArcWood and Timber. The decking is laid perpendicular to the sidewalk, reminiscent of the shipping docks that once lined the shoreline of Mission Bay. This location also marks the point at which the City of San Francisco met the waterfront, prior to the filling of Mission Bay in the nineteenth century. The angled “masts” formed by the vertical timbers in the Parklet allude to the maritime and industrial character of the neighborhood during that era.

The unifying aesthetic of the Parklet is informed by the vocabulary of SOMA’s industrial heritage and that of the railroads that characterized its development. In addition to the structural timbers, cast iron tension rods, anchor plates, brackets, and reinforcement straps mimic those found in industrial buildings throughout the neighborhood.

As an addition to the bustling SOMA neighborhood, the Parklet will mark a crossroads, uniting people from nearby businesses and adjoining neighborhoods in a common public space.  Its close proximity to multiple transportation modes, including a well-traveled bicycle lane, the CalTrain station, and multiple bus routes, brings people together from throughout the city and the region. This too is a tie to the history of the place, where the Santa Fe Depot once stood, industry soared, and the community converged.

Community partners, donating time and materials and support, include Swinerton Builders, WRT, ArcWood and Timbers, Ian Glidden, and Ahlborn Fence and Steel, Inc., and D’Urso Delicatessen. Sponsors, contributing financial and advisory support, include ArtHaus, Bloomspot, Gluten Free Grocer, Cherry.com, Fiore Real Estate, and Double D Engineering, many of which are located within the neighborhood.

Swinerton Builders: Recognized nationally since 1888, Swinerton Builders has a record of outstanding performance built on its reputation of high quality services, fine workmanship, excellent performance, and ethical business. Working in an environment of collaboration, Swinerton successfully delivers sustainable, complex design and construction projects as well as professional services to a diversified base of agencies. To learn more about Swinerton, check out their FacebookTwitterFlickrBlog, and LinkedIn.

WRT: Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT) is an interdisciplinary planning and design firm recognized for its innovative ideas and environmental ethos. Its practice of architecture, planning, urban design, and landscape architecture is known for designing unique spaces and structures including parks and open spaces, transit spaces, affordable housing, retirement communities, waterfronts, university campuses and mixed-use developments. Committed to sustainability, interdisciplinary design, and collaboration since its founding in 1963, WRT operates in five locations from coast to coast. To find out more about WRT, please visit wrtdesign.com, or visit us at TwitterFacebook, orLinkedIn.

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