Orchard Park
Courtesy of Jackilin Hah Bloom and Florencia Pita

Orchard Park, collaborative project by Jackilin Hah Bloom and Florencia Pita

Pita & Bloom en tant que Architectes.

In response to an ideas competition to re-imagine Highway 280 in San Francisco, we ask, what if Highway 280 is a memory in the form of ascending and descending pedestrian esplanades leading to a farm-like landscape within an mélange of patterns? Our proposal is a template for a large green space within urban San Francisco. The project seeks to combine a patchwork of programmatic variations with architectural specificity. Through a series of interconnecting esplanades, which ascend and descend, pedestrians are lead to elevated views of patterned farm-scapes within an urban setting. Filled within each of the six parcels and on the esplanades is a mosaic layout of urban patios and farm-like landscapes. Each is defined by a pattern, which is derived from small-scale ceramic tile configurations on patio flooring. The patterns are enlarged to an urban scale and extruded three-dimensionally, creating demarcations, edges and shapes for the park. The manifestation of these patterns are primarily fruit orchard trees but also include groundscapes of vegetable gardens, farmer’s markets, children’s playgrounds, water fountains, cafés, sculpture gardens, information kiosks, temporary exhibit spaces and performance spaces.

As the entire park is considered public, the variation in shapes made up of greenery as well as boundaries and hard edges, produce areas of privacy and areas of discovery. The formal and spatial qualities of freeways determine the curving geometries of the interconnecting esplanades. These walkways are at times elevated, as they turn, split off, loop around and ramp down in controlled radii and slopes. Patterned elements are located along, below and on the esplanade. The esplanade promotes walking and biking and overall viewing of the park. Although the highway is transformed into a pedestrian-way, the design seeks to maintain the monumentality of the highway in the form of a unified yet diversified urban park.

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