There's more ways to experience San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge than just driving across it. In addition to walking or biking across it, you can also stop by the new Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion to learn more about the famous feat of engineering and walk around the park to snap photos of the iconic landmark. Built just in time for the landmark's 75th anniversary, the Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion is a prefabricated building designed by Jensen Architects and built by Project Frog. The vibrant and energy-efficient welcome center features interactive exhibits, information and a retail shop to stock up on bridge memorabilia.
The Golden Gate Bridge celebrated it’s 75th year anniversary in 2012 and as part of the celebrations, the Golden Gate District and National Parks Conservancy rallied together to improve the facilities leading up to the park near the toll center. Before there was little more than a statue, a bit of cable and a small information stand. Now the area leading up to the bridge aptly provides visitor information, view points, a cafe, interactive exhibits and activities and a retail shop. The Roundhouse, which formerly houses the gift shop, has been converted into a place where tours start from and where you can get tourist photos in front of a green screen. The renovation of the area also includes the Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion, which serves as the official welcome and information center for the Bridge.
To meet the tight deadline of the project so it was open in time for the May, 2012 celebration, the building was prefabricated off-site and then delivered and assembled upon arrival. Jensen Architects worked in conjunction with prefab builder Project Frog to design and build the center. The simple, one-story building was built from a kit comprised of standardized structural elements, wall panels, and glazing units. Clerestory windows provide additional daylight inside the center and LED lighting is used throughout. The massing and the details carefully reflect the other buildings on the site and the exterior is painted the same International Orange color as the bridge.
Next time you’re in the Bay Area, don’t just drive across the Bridge, be sure to turn off right before the toll booths and check out the Bridge Pavilion where you can see the 12 ft test tower designed at Princeton University in 1933.
Images Courtesy of Jensen Architects