The Exploratorium was invited to partner with CMG Architecture and EHDD Architecture to create a proposal for the Presidio Gateway project located adjacent to Crissy Field in San Francisco. Part of the Doyle Drive project, the Gateway project creates ten new acres of land with spectacular views adjacent to the new park visitor center.
When we think of hallmarks of the great national parks, we think of places of enduring beauty, great cultural and historic significance, and thoughtful stewardship. The Presidio is all of these. However, what is unique about the Presidio is that it is also a neighborhood park; a place where the citizens of San Francisco come to play, to wander, to dream, and to rest. Great neighborhood parks offer programs for young and old, they offer comfort and amenities, and they are shared resources that embody the values of our community. It was against this backdrop that we began our work on the Presidio Gateway, always cognizant of this significant national treasure and beloved park within our city.
Embedded in these spaces are instruments, images, timelapse sequences, and other observation tools, which enhance a visitor’s relationship to the past, present, and future landscape. The instruments, films, graphics, and historical markers function as insertions or suggestions into the landscape, building on natural curiosity and wonder over this extraordinary viewscape. They are intended to be a form of provocation to encourage inquiry and personal reflection about the relationships of people to place—not explanations or labels.