Civic Design Review Committee - June 20, 2016 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
June 20, 2016 - 1:00pm
401 Van Ness, Suite 125
san francisco, CA 94102



Monday, June 20, 2016
1:00 p.m.
401 Van Ness Avenue, Room 125


Committee Chair Cass Calder Smith called the meeting to order at 1:03 p.m.

  1. Roll Call
    Commissioners Present
    Cass Calder Smith, Chair
    Dorka Keehn
    Abby Sadin Schnair
    Kimberlee Stryker
    Paul Woolford

    ​Commissioners Absent

    Staff Present
    Aleta Lee, Program Associate Public Art Trust and Special Initiatives
    Tom DeCaigny, Director of Cultural Affairs

    Rebekah Krell, Deputy Director of Cultural Affairs

  2. Public Comment
    There was no public comment.
  3. Consent Calendar 
    There was no public comment, and the Consent Calendar was approved unanimously as follows.

    1.     Motion to approve Phase #3 of the Geneva Car Barn Project.
    2.     Motion to approve Phase #3 of the 17th & Folsom Project.
    3.     Motion to approve Phase #3 of the Westside Recycled Water Treatment Project.

  4. Westside Pump Station Improvements: Informational/ Conceptual Review
    Tiffany Gong, Project Designer, Public Works BDC
    Brian Carlomagno, Project Manager, SFPUC
    Stanley So, Architect, Public Works BDC
    Edward Chin, Landscape Architect, Public Works BDC
    Commissioner Stryker arrives at 1:08pm.
    The design team presented the project, providing a background of the existing building, project location, and main objectives - (1) to improve reliability of electrical power supply and (2) to build a new redundant west channel to connect to the existing water channel. The team discussed that they had spoken with Susan Pontious, SFAC’s Director of Public Art, and it was agreed that the public artwork currently in front of the building would return to this site after reconstruction. A schematic floor plan was exhibited to show what proposed program and additions would be integrated into the site. This includes a new electrical building, new bar screen shaft, new redundant channel, new west pump chamber expansion, and modifications to the side of the building on the Great Highway. Lastly, the team provided three different design options.
    Of the three design options, the Committee preferred Option C which had glass above the building that provided transparency and diminished the height of the building. The Committee suggested the team pull the different components of the building together to simplify its design. They asked to consider the landscaping with the addition of trees and to plan for consistency with new landscaping of the Great Highway in the future. In addition, the Committee wanted the team to investigate different forms and textures of concrete that would add interest to the building. The Committee proposed that the project come back for an informal.

    Tom DeCaigney temporarily left the meeting at 1:30pm and returned at 1:32pm. 

    There was no further public comment.

  5. Helen Diller Civic Center Playground: Informational/ Conceptual Review
    Emily Rylander, Project Designer, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture
    Karen Mauney-Brodek, Project Manager, SF Rec & Park
    Andrea Cochran, Landscape Architect, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture
    The design team presented the project, starting with a historical analysis of the site and the existing playgrounds. They reviewed their data collection of user surveys, observations studies, and community meetings to provide feedback on what worked and did not work, along with new ideas the public had for the playgrounds. In their proposal, the team suggested two symmetrical playgrounds with tethered cloud sculptures, inspired by a “Cloud Forest’ theme. Both playgrounds would have a play area for older and younger children, as well as an integrated light pole forest and floor light installation between the playgrounds to connect the two sites. The team presented the different materials involved in the building of the site, including the plats, paving, site furniture, signage, and play equipment.

    Tom DeCaigney, Director of Cultural Affairs, asked that Commissioners please keep in mind that the project went through an elaborate review from Historic Preservation.
    The Committee expressed their excitement for the project, however there were some concerns over the palette of colors used and the positioning of the surrounding trees which seemed to divide the playgrounds from the plaza. It was suggested that the project team come to an Informal with Historic Preservation staff present to discuss the feasibility of the use of color, different access points and orientations in relationship to the plaza, and the location of the surrounding trees.
    Public Comment:
    Julie Knapp, on behalf of Midge Wilson, Executive Director of the Bay Area Women’s and Children’s Center (BAWCC), read a letter of BAWCC’s enthusiastic support for this project. 
    There was no further public comment.

    The Commissioners took a brief break at 2:38pm and returned at 2:44pm.
  6. Treasure Island Waterfront Plaza Public Restrooms: Phase #1
    Bob Beck, Project Manager, TIDA
    Julian Pancoast, Project Manager, TICD/Lennar

    Amy Eliot, Architect, Dilworth Eliot Studio, Inc.
    Blake Sanborn, Landscape Architect, AECOM

    The design team presented the project, showcasing the existing site location and conditions, and the previous floor plan of their original restroom location. As the original location of the restroom raised concerns relative to the overall view and landscape of the waterfront, it was relocated behind the bus shelter and next to the seating cubes. Inspired by reflective, sculptural forms, the design team split the restroom into two abstract volumes and plan to use a reflective material and/ or glass for the exterior of the structures. The team showed samples of reflective metal and glass they were considering to use. Lastly, the team provided views of the renderings of the new restroom structure and location.

    The Committee praised the outcome of the project and its vast improvement, stating how beautifully reductive it became. The Committee discussed next steps with the design team in considering the necessity of a security gate, what type of gateway it would be, and the possibility of flipping the all gender restroom and electrical room.

    There was no public comment, and the motion was unanimously approved as follows.

    Motion to approve Phase #1 of the Treasure Island Waterfront Plaza Public Restrooms Project.
  7. SFMTA Operator Facilities – Rivera St. & 48th Ave: Phase #2
    Rommel Taylor, Project Designer, Public Works
    Robert Mau, Project Manager, SFMTA

    Will Kwan, Architect, MWA Public Works

    The design team discussed the project, presenting a pre-approved, pre-fabricated restroom model for the location on 48th Avenue and Rivera Street along the Great Highway. They shared that they worked with Supervisor Katy Tang and held two rounds of community outreach to modify the designs to the concerns of the public. Prior to its location at the site of a housing unit, the team had presented the facility on the curb. However, residents were concerned that this facility would take several parking spots away from the street, thus it was moved to its current position on the corner - adjacent to the housing unit. The specific color of the operations facility was chosen to compliment this housing unit. There was a set agreement that the color would change accordingly if the housing unit was to ever change their paint color.

    The Committee questioned why the facility was to blend in with the housing. The team explained that the Housing Authority requested that the color of the facility match the house, rather than the green color that was first proposed. As this was a pre-approved facility that is constructed off-site and dropped into place the design team inquired if they would be able to be approved for Phase #3 of the project as well. Because the project was only listed as a Phase #2 on the agenda, Tom DeCaigney suggested that the Phase #3 be listed on the Consent Calendar of the Full Commission for approval.

    There was no public comment, and the motion was unanimously approved as follows.

    Motion to approve Phase #2 of the SFMTA Operators Convenience Facilities (48th Ave. & Rivera St.) Project.
  8.  SFO Building 624: Phase #1
    Gary Brandau and Ryan Kuss, Project Managers, SFO
    Joyce Chow, Architect, Joseph Chow & Associates, Inc.
    Cathy L. Merrill, Landscape Architect, Merrill Morris Partners

    The design team discussed the project, presenting the existing site, project scope and concept, proposed planting and site furnishing, and new schematic floor plan mapping the program of the building. The new building would be put in place of the old building site and house two tenants involved with maintenance, repairs, and general administration. The new plan will allow for more landscaping opportunities and parking spaces for airport employees. The team opted for a simple “box” look, while using details in signage and color for a modern aesthetic. Sample colored metals were provided in the presentation.

    The Committee discussed keeping the landscape minimal, investigating dimensions of the signage, and having the elevation plan look more uniform and symmetric on either sides of the building. They suggested that the angle in the front side of the building be vertical and given more depth. The Committee also mentioned breaking down the scale of the building by bringing down the portals and changing parts of the blue elevation to grey.

    There was no public comment, and the motion was unanimously approved as follows.

    Motion to approve Phase #1 of the SFO Building 624 Project, contingent upon: (1) simplifying the landscaping, with the possibility of adding trees; (2) rectifying the panel grid; (3) adjusting the color and height of the corrugated metal in relation to the portals; and (4) investigating other signage locations and whether the signs will be placed flush to the walls.

    Tom DeCaigney left the room at 3:53pm and returned at 4:01pm.
  9. SFO Ground Transportation Unit: Phase #1
    Paulett Taggart, Project Designer, Paulett Taggart Architects
    Derrick Homer, Project Manager, SFO
    Eric Robinson, Architect, Paulett Taggart Architects
    David Fletcher, Landscape Architect, Fletcher Studio

    The design team presented their project, showcasing the existing site, inspiration images, floor plan of the site, and varying elevation faces of the building. As the building would be used as an inspection site for vehicles entering the airport, the design team wanted to provide a calming environment for both indoor and outdoor use. Thus, they rotated the entrance to re-orient the space and placed overlapping planting for a complete landscape. The front entrance landscape also integrated large slabs of cut stone for seating and bringing natural elements to the site.

    The Committee felt that though the landscape design was well thought out, it was still aggressive and could be softened, possibly with the use of trees. It was also pointed out that there was a slight difference in building heights, which they hoped the team would address in the following phase.

    There was no public comment, and the motion was unanimously approved as follows.

    Motion to approve Phase #1 of the SFO Ground Transportation Unit Project contingent upon 1) possible integration of trees 2) investigating the need for columns at pergola entrances 3) providing studies of varying roof heights and parapets and 4) softening the boulders in the front landscape.
  10. SFO Terminal 1 Center Renovation Project (10011) and SFO New Boarding Area B Reconstruction Project (10011): Phase #1

    Terminal I Center Renovation Project
    Terence Young, Project Designer, Gensler

    Kristin Allen, Project Manager, SFO
    Steve Weindel, Architect, Gensler
    Brennan Cox, Landscape Architect, Groundworks Office

    SFO New Boarding Area B Reconstruction Project
    Lee Glenn, Project Designer, HKS, Inc.
    Kristin Allen, Project Manager, SFO
    Crystal Barriscale, Project Architect, HKS, Inc.
    Geoff DiGirolamo, Landscape Architect, Surface Design, Inc.

    The design team presented the project, reviewing the environmental factors, daylight approach, building sections, and current design of the terminal. They introduced adding a layer of a natural silhouette on the external layer of the glass as a possible option. The design team also discussed the connection of the current Air Train tunnel to the new terminal. Because the new Terminal I is pulled back, the Air Train bridge is too short to connect. An option to solve this problem includes building an extension from the terminal, due to the high cost of replacing the bridge. For Boarding Area B, the project team provided aerial views and section details of the elevation, highlighting the vision glass, spandrel glass, painted metal panel, and painted louvers.

    The Committee asked that the team focus on designing a bird-safe building, devising solutions to the connection between the terminal and the Air Train bridge, and bringing material samples in their next review. They strongly encouraged the team to consider the future-proof of the design, in case any adjustments were made in the future.

    There was no public comment, and the motion was unanimously approved as follows.

    Motion to approve Phase #1 of the SFO Terminal 1 Center Renovation and New Boarding Area B Reconstruction Project, contingent upon: (1) providing detailing and selection of curtain wall glazing system; (2) providing detailing of the bridge connection; (2) providing samples of glass and patterns; (3) providing solar/glare/shade motion analysis and (4) ensuring bird and migration safety standards.

    Commissioner Schnair leaves at 5:07pm and returns at 5:10pm.
  11. Margaret Hayward Playground Renovations: Informational/ Conceptual Review
    Lizzy Hirsch, Project Designer, Public Works
    Jake Gilchrist and Marien Coss, Project Managers, SF Rec & Park
    Paul DeFreitas, Architect, Public Works

    The design team presented the project, showing the site location, existing site conditions, and stating site assessments and challenges the park currently faced. To create a plan for the new park, the team facilitated community outreach efforts with public meetings to develop the conceptual design direction. The team devised three options, preferring Scheme C which placed the playground, community room/ restroom, and picnic area in the center of the park. The playground was situated at the elevated part of the slope by Turk Street, providing opportunities for older and younger children and varied elevations for play. On the farther end on Golden Gate Avenue, the design team placed the Community Room and restrooms. A zig zag pathway was placed all along the right side of these developments. The design team provided renderings of the front and back of the Community Room building.

    Tom DeCaigney leaves at 5:35pm.

    Rebekah Krell arrives at 5:33pm.

    The Committee suggested that the team have some urban design discussions, as there were several factors that they wanted the team to address, including (1) the consideration of the Department of Emergency Management building and its large wall that faces the playground, (2) the inability to access the Community room building from the street level and, (3) the sharp zig zag path. They thought the playground canyon was an interesting idea, but would like the team to think of the overall, big picture idea of the park, as well as consider safety and user experience. The Committee asked that the project come back for an informal.

    There was no public comment.
  12. Visual Arts Committee Update 
    Commissioner Keehn reported on the new design proposal by Jorge Pardo for the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), showing renderings of the proposed artwork. The sculpture consists of painted metal and glass globes, and would also act as lights located on the center divider by City Hall. Though there were some concerns about the modern artworks contrast to the surrounding historic district, Commissioner Keehn shared that the Visual Arts Committee was supportive of the project. 

  13. Adjournment 
    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:33 p.m.
    posted 7/5/16, 5:20 p.m., akl
    approved 7/11/16

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