San Francisco Shipyard

San Francisco, California, USA (Design)

We want to make a more natural looking edge to the bay. I’d like for this to be more than just a neighborhood. I’d like for it to be a gathering place for everyone who lives south of the city. - David Adjaye

The San Francisco Shipyard is one of the largest urban developments on the West Coast. Adjaye Associates’ refreshed masterplan celebrates the shipyard’s multilayered 150-year history while maximizing access to San Francisco’s distinctive bay front. Recognizing the Shipyard’s evolution – from its rural origins, to its naval heritage, to its increasingly urban character – the masterplan retains key legacy buildings and features to root the development in the neighborhood’s past, while establishing new infrastructure and built form to support the Bayview, Hunters Point and San Francisco communities as they develop into the future.

The framework for the Shipyard masterplan is constructed around two key elements. The first is an urban grid with a geometry that reinforces its historic industrial fabric. The second being two public urban rooms that provide the backdrop for the public life within the Shipyard – a smaller, intimate “Water Room”, and a larger “Green Room”. The Water Room is a new public arena encasing a preserved dry dock that provides a central focus for the Shipyard, creating an entirely unique destination in the city. Flanked by an anchor retail space and new residential units, the dry dock is reinforced with pedestrian bridges, water access, and a new public amphitheater for cultural programming. The Green Room is a larger civic counterpart to the Water Room, promising respite for the community within the boundary of development.

Three distinctive neighborhoods are carved out in relationship to these public features. To the north-east of the Water Room and Dry Dock 4 is a historic Wharf District programmed with Research and Development (“R&D”) land uses and activities. A lively, mixed-use commercial district, the R&D district is uniquely suited for innovative start-ups, expanding tech leaders and forward-thinking enterprises. To the north-west of the Wharf district is The Shipyard North, a diverse residential neighborhood featuring a combination of affordable housing, townhomes and apartments, with expansive views north towards Downtown San Francisco, the Bay Bridge and East Bay. Finally, the Shipyard South neighborhood surrounds the Green Room. It is a mixed-use residential and commercial district that provides more traditional urban character than the adjacent R&D Wharf to the north-east.