Lucy Wang

Concrete Ribbons Add Contemporary Twist to Historic Courtyard in San Francisco

by , 12/24/13



Cliff Garten Studio, General Services Administration, San Francisco, landscape sculpture, landscape architecture, LEED gold, arthus brown, beaux arts, concrete paving, concrete ribbons, drip irrigation, granite fountains

The courtyard’s sculptural and symmetric shape reflects the classical design of the 1932 Arthus Brown building. Concrete paving ribbons curve out from each entrance in the courtyard and partition the landscape into straight, symmetrical layers of vegetation, seating, and paving. To reinforce the building’s main axial connections, two circular granite fountains punctuate the center of the gridded white birch tree groves.

Throughout the courtyard, elongated concrete paving ribbons rhythmically rise and twist into seating, before sinking back into a pervious surface of decomposed granite. Included as part of a green upgrade to the 50 United Nations Plaza Federal Building, the courtyard features a variety of sustainable design techniques. In addition to building with recycled materials, the courtyard landscape also minimizes water use with the installation of efficient drip irrigation.

+ Cliff Garten Studio

Via ArchDaily

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1 Comment

  1. acapm November 9, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Very poor design, absolutely inadequate by ergonomics and safety points of view.
    It is very easy to trip over, because there is no visual distinction between the flooring (flat) and the benches that start to rise above ground level: same dimension, same colour, continuity of the curves.
    People can hardly identify the moment the floor\’s ribbon becomes a bench and can easily bump into them.

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