Union Square Park
In July 1997, in partnership with April Philips Design Works, we were selected as one of five winners in the Second Annual San Francisco Prize Design Competition, to redesign Union Square, the principal open space in the heart of San Francisco’s commercial district. Over 300 design entries were received. Our submittal, “All the Square is a Stage”, was the only landscape architect team among the five winners. We proposed an evolutionary idea, a formal and programmatic open space solution organized on a set of bi-symmetrical cross-axes and stepped terraces. The design for Union Square invites a range of social and cultural experiences, connecting spaces and features to adjacent streets. The new design acknowledges individual and group needs by shaping and linking intimate and grand outdoor spaces, utilizing furnishings, materials and surfaces that evoke refinement and comfort. A grand central plaza, focused on the Dewey Memorial at the heart of the Square, is framed by retail uses and a permanent stage. Visitor amenities include ticket box office, café with outdoor dining, ample seating areas, light sculptures, elevator, and lawn terraces. Future improvements will include a water feature, additional table and chair seating, and extending design elements into bordering streets and up to adjacent storefronts.