San Francisco just unveiled a plan to host the 34th America’s Cup yacht race with an epic new amphitheater set on the bay. Proposed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the plan is based on revitalizing disused piers between the Bay Bridge and the ballpark. In addition to renovating this part of the city, the project boasts an array of sustainable design features such as rainwater harvesting and a huge sail-like canopy covered in solar cells. The incorporation of green design seems obvious for an event that is based on harnessing the wind.
The long abandoned piers are adjacent to a booming mixed-use area just south of downtown. The city’s proposal for the America’s Cup event provides the properties, which will require seismic retrofits, breakwater features, and other major improvements. The revived waterfront will be anchored by a huge public amphitheater designed by the SF offices of SOM to emulate the aesthetic of a sail. Solar electric panels will be incorporated into the tensile net canopy, which will provide a daylit shelter for thousands of onlookers. A mast made from recycled wood will keep the rig aloft. To starboard the of the facility will be the media faculties and to port will be series of new wharfs for the racing teams and yachtsmen.
America’s Cup is the oldest currently awarded sporting trophy in the world and is the world’s third largest sporting event. The winning team and host of the cup, BMW Oracle, is based at the Golden Gate Yacht Club just across the city, and they get final word in which city the race event will take place.
+ Skidmore, Owings & Merrill