George Hargreaves – Crissy Field, San Francisco CA, 2001.


Crissy Field is 100 acres of park in the shoreline of San Francisco, just east of the golden bridge. This site began as a marsh and seasonal home of Ohlone Indians, and later hosted Spanish and Mexican ships, a Grand Prix raceway, an historic army airfield, and a U.S. Coast Guard station during WWI and WWII. However, back in 2001 the conversion into a national park was completed, and the landscape architect in charge was George Hargreaves. Among the landscape architect’s work there are the olympic parks of Sydney and London. As a Harvard graduate and ex professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and it is remarkable to note that throughout his trajectory, Hargreaves has demonstrated an affinity to design and to embrace large scale spaces. “Large Parks” is a book in which he explores the dynamism and versatility of these spaces. In this particular case, for Crissy Field, Hargreaves’s work involved the restoration and rehabilitation of natural wetlands and dune fields along bay waterfront. However, within his design Hargreaves amplifies forms in the land, in this case the topography of the site pops up pieces of land that simulate gigantics waves going off shore and attacking it, see top right photo. In a sense, the design intent was to accentuate how on a flat surface landforms can highlight the site. On the other hand, Crissy Field integrates also diversity of recreational uses and at the same time it reinforces the context of historical landmark.




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