This design for a parklet by Academy of Art University student Haleh Rahmani is titled "Embrace." The design was one of three selected by City of San Francisco Planning Department staff in a recent competition. 

In a competition judged by City of San Francisco Planning Department staff, students from the Academy’s Schools of Landscape Architecture and Interior Architecture & Design recently submitted designs for a new mini-park to be located in front of the university’s building at 601 Brannan Street in San Francisco. Academy instructor Yasmine Farazian tells the story:

[Yasmine Farazian] If you’re a resident of any Bay Area city, you have likely noticed parklets popping up everywhere. Parklets are a new type of public open space typically associated with restaurants and retail that extend out from sidewalk curbsides and take over existing street parking. These spaces provide amenities that encourage people to stop, take a break, socialize, and engage with their neighborhood centers, while being aesthetically pleasing additions to the urban fabric.

In spring 2013, students in a School of Landscape Architecture class participated in a competition to design a new type of parklet that incorporates amenities for a university shuttle bus shelter and space for students to socialize in, and to act as an identity marker for the school’s 601 Brannan building entrance. Entries in the competition for the parklet were judged by City of San Francisco Planning Department staff members, based on criteria and design guidelines set forth by the city’s Pavement to Parks project which “is intended to be a public laboratory for the city to work with local communities to temporarily test new ideas in the public realm.”

The following designs were selected by the jurors:

First Place: "Sound & Beat"—Youngwook Jeon, MFA, School of Landscape Architecture
Concept: The Sound & Beat parklet aims to extend the lively pulse and energy within the 601 Brannan building to the outdoors through forms derived from digital sound waves. This parklet pays close attention to mitigating the issue of homeless occupation through variable seat heights, lighting and aesthetically pleasing swaths of drought-tolerant planting.

The design titled "Sound & Beat" is by Academy Landscape Architecture student Youngwook Jeon.
Second Place: "Synergize"—Alyssa Irawan, BFA, School of Interior Architecture & Design
Concept: Offering various programmed spaces, the Synergize parklet is designed as a hub where neighborhood residents, Academy students, local businesses and pedestrians can socially engage. These spaces include an shuttle shelter, a waiting area, a larger communal sitting area and an intimate face-to-face sitting area.
Above and below: The Synergize parklet design is by Interior Architecture & Design student Alyssa Irawan.

Third Place: "Embrace"—Haleh Rahmani, BFA, School of Interior Architecture & Design (image at top of article)
Concept: The university’s building at 601 Brannan is home to three Schools: Landscape Architecture, Interior Architecture & Design, and Architecture. The Embrace parklet is designed to highlight all three disciplines in a sleek, semi-covered, public open space intended for socializing, waiting for shuttle buses, and charging phones under a glass and steel structure that deflects wind and incorporates seats that swivel 360 degrees (adding an extra element of fun).

The three winning designs will undergo one more round of internal review by the Academy’s executive office to determine which will be built by the School of Landscape Architecture in the near future.

Congratulations to all three students for their hard work and inspiring designs!

Yasmine Farazian is a faculty member of the Academy of Art University’s School of Landscape Architecture.

Images courtesy of the School of Landscape Architecture

Tags: Landscape Architecture,  Interior Architecture