Oslo Opera House
While Facebook has tapped Frank Gehry, the Golden State Warriors have snagged Snøhetta, the architecture firm behind SFMOMA’s expansion and the waterfront Norwegian National Opera and Ballet building pictured above, to design the Warriors’ proposed stadium upon Piers 30-32 and the development of Seawall (SWL) 330 across the street.
San Francisco Seawall 330
Snøhetta will be paired with AECOM’s San Francisco office for stadium expertise.
Let It Snø! (Snøhetta Snags SFMOMA Expansion Project) [SocketSite]
Linking 2 worlds of culture: art, sports [SFGate]
SFMOMA Expansion Design: New Details, Renderings And Video [SocketSite]
Frank Gehry Engaged To Design Facebook’s Menlo Park Expansion [SocketSite]
The Plans For A Legacy San Francisco Warriors Arena Upon The Piers [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by James

    Snohetta is perfect for this project. They specialize in the social integration of building to location. Everything I’ve visited of theirs flows extremely well. I trust they’ll come up with something successful for this site… if we let them.

  2. Posted by Patrick

    One thing is non-negotiable: Red’s Java House stays right where it is. No changes.

  3. Posted by anon

    I was hoping for Gehry but this is still a big coup.
    A lot of people will hate the design since it won’t look like a giant victorian or have bay windows.

  4. Posted by anon

    Patrick, Red’s a very not-so-great place, maybe one step up from Sinbad’s (tho I ate at Red’s yesterday)….But it is a historic landmark. It’s not going anywhere.
    Also, Red’s has representation on the Arena CAC (citizen’s advisory committee).

  5. Posted by James

    Gehry’s cool but after Bilbao, LA, Seattle, Chicago, etc… seems like architectural “collectibles” for cities. I’d like to see what Zaha Hadid could do, the curving shapes would avoid a lot of the usual “boxy” criticism of modern designs.

  6. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    Are you freaking kidding me? After all the griping about boring San Francisco architecture, you would think people would be jumping for joy with this design.
    I love it. What is it going to look like from the street though?

  7. Posted by anon

    Jim, the actual design won’t be available for a couple months. So we really have no idea what it will look like. I’m betting it won’t much look like the opera building above.

  8. Posted by Davester

    Is that a water-ski ramp?

  9. Posted by James

    This is not the design but if you look at Snohetta’s other projects, including the SFMOMA plans, we can expect it to be largely monochromatic, light-colored, with oblique angles and sloping slab-like forms, some kind of terraced view platforms, subtle surface materials that can be described as “changing color with the light”, and not a lot of transparency. I have high hopes for this as a transformation of the piers into a great new public space– with an arena integrated into it.

  10. Posted by Rob

    Well said, James… I really look forward to this one, a lot. Snøhetta does great work from the looks of it… Can’t wait to hear more as this project moves forward.

  11. Posted by kg

    Absolutely the right choice. Glad they’re going with bold in this particular location. Imagine via the Bay Bridge with downtown on your right and an amazing waterfront structure to the left. This could really help solidify SF as a place of great architecture.
    I couldn’t stand the SFMOMA extension at first, but it really grew on me. I think it will continue to do so.

  12. Posted by Joshua

    Not a fan whatsoever of the SFMOMA addition.
    Why in the world didn’t they hold a competition for this building design?
    Fantastic site — it would attract many talented firms/people.

  13. Posted by wc1

    Excellent choice, cannot wait to see what they come up with.

  14. Posted by Rob

    @joshua Competitions usually yield a ton of shitty results… even in cases of being invited to submit, I choose not to, because of the stacks of shit you have to wade through as well as the fact that I stay busy enough to enjoy avoiding those types of horrible opportunities.

  15. Posted by Sausalito_Res

    @anon 9:22
    I like Victorians as well as other types of good-quality older buildings and also like the rendering above. It’s all about context.
    Improving a vacant concrete pier along the waterfront with an exciting design that fits with the environment is not the same as nibbling at the City’s architectural heritage in established neighborhoods to construct undistinguished buildings.
    If what is eventually built looks anything like the drawing, I would be very happy.

  16. Posted by Sausalito_Res

    @Patrick 9:16
    +1

  17. Posted by sf

    Looks great! therefore, it will never be built. enjoy your circus you label a “city,” san francisco!

  18. Posted by citicritter

    People, get a clue: that image above is NOT the new arena (to those who posted above thinking it magicall was), but rather Snohetta’s Oslo Opera House that was built a few years ago. You all need to get out a little more (and need to tell a photo of a built building from a rendering – which couldn’t possibly be that developed yet anyway, as they just made the architect selection!).
    Anyway, Snohetta seems like a pretty good choice, for SF. They (and AECOM) certainly have their work cut out for them, what with all the anti-anything-new nutjobs and NIMBYs they’ll be up against in this provincial city…

  19. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    Great looking first cut at a design, but frankly i’m imagining Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos sitting around and watching this thing play out from on high and chuckling to themselves.
    Hubris. Mayor Lee is obviously unacquainted with the concept.
    First, Lee characterizing it as his “legacy project” and getting all of the members of the Board of Supervisors signing a letter of support, BEFORE there was any community input or even an announcement. Not that I think every project has to be community workshopped, but let’s be realistic and understand how things work in S.F..
    Second, the presentation of the project as some kind of fait accompli in time for the 2017-18 season. BEFORE the first neighborhood meeting. Going around saying thing like “it’s going to happen” as if it’s just a matter of force of will.
    Lastly, all of the other assorted hubris on display from The Warriors ownership, BEFORE even a preliminary environmental impact report is begun.
    I know that Ed Lee knows how things work in The City, so I don’t know why he’s painting himself and the Warriors with such a large bullseye on this. Not that I’m betting, but he’s tempting the fates and if this thing goes down in flames (most likely due to litigation), he has no one to blame but himself.

  20. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    Cue the lawsuits to block the development followed by a ballot initiative to ‘protect our waterfront’ in 3,2,1 …

  21. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    Re: my comment about hubris above; a better metaphor than target painting would have been “waving the red cape in front of the bull”.
    followed by turning your back on the bull before the first strike, in order to facilitate waving to the crowd in the stands and otherwise hamming it up.
    When you get gored, should you really be surprised?

  22. Posted by contrarian

    Thank you Brahma, for forcing me to look up a new fact of mythology. Tho I still don’t udnerstand the reference, I am looking forwar to the FATES of the warriors, Ed Lee and Pier 30-32 (hee hee)

  23. Posted by jlasf

    I don’t like the SFMOMA extension. It completely disregards the original Botta building. I would have preferred Calatrava.
    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/180/419232194_8a5c0d4d7d.jpg

  24. Posted by 1965

    This is the right way to create great architecture. Do your homework, hire a competent/appropriate architect and let them do what they do best.
    Competitions, well, competitions lead designs like the Transbay Tower.

  25. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    Re: my comment above about the timeline and hubris regarding the development and approval process; this made Matier and Ross’ column today:

    … the Golden State Warriors’ first get-together with neighbors last week about the team’s proposed San Francisco waterfront arena was long on questions and short on answers.

    No drawings, no traffic studies and no firm replies to such questions as how 20,000 fans are going to get across the Embarcadero at rush hour.

    “They kept saying, ‘We don’t know, we don’t know,’ but they promised a lot of answers would be coming,” said land-use attorney Sue Hestor.

    “We are absolutely going to have answers,” said project spokesman P.J. Johnston, “but this was just the first of what I expect will be a lot of meetings.” Given that the Warriors want to have the term sheet in front of the Board of Supervisors by October and start work on the arena by 2014, answers had better start coming quickly.

    The socketsite post regarding the meeting was on August 23rd.
    So arguably the single most active development-delaying land use attorney in town already has this project on her radar screen and the Warriors think they’re going to have construction complete in time for the 2017-18 season? Waving the cape in front of the bull.
    They’re not prepared at the first meeting to deliver solid answers to obvious questions, but are still locked into having a term sheet in front of the Board of Supervisors in about a month? That’s hubris.
    How are they going to have “a lot of meetings” before this thing has to be finalized, given the schedule?
    Like I said, I’m not betting against them and I hope the project succeeds, but I’ll be amazed if they meet their goal of starting work on the arena by 2014.

  26. Posted by Jack

    That Snohetta opera house dominates any of the overtorqued overrated and uninteresting crap Gehry has turned out in recent years. Spectacular.

  27. Posted by R

    @Brahma: My guess is this is a calculated plan. They’re not just bumbling around, they are highly successful business people after all.
    And heck, why give Hestor any ammunition? Just say “I don’t know” whenever she asks anything.

  28. Posted by anon

    Brahma, there will be community outreach meetings at least once a month through December 2013.

  29. Posted by enzo

    So does Sue Hestor get to feed off this kill, or will Peskin run her off to claim the spoils?

  30. Posted by inclinejj

    Remember the bumbling booofooons in SF let the 49ers get away to Santa Clara.
    The Hippies, relax SF, I don’t mean the dope smoking,Haight Ashbury, love in 1960’s Hippies. I mean the 2012 hippies who grew up, somewhat, but don’t want anything built. The NIMBY, the greenies, the tree huggers, the I have my piece of the pie, f*ck everyone else, no one else can self serving douche bags will sue to try to tie this up.
    I grew up 20 minutes due South of SF, and you can all looking into my home town to see how the hippies, put a choke hold on the city.
    Another hippie attorney wonderful!
    Stayed tuned, for Bankrutpcy!!

  31. Posted by Dan

    It’s not SF’s fault the 49ers moved away. During Willie Brown’s time as mayor, SF voters approved the 49ers’ stadium plan with a $100 million from the city and permission to build a big mall out at Candlestick.
    The Niners owners fumbled that opportunity, and then decided they’d rather be in suburban Silicon Valley than in Bayview Hunters Point.
    And I think it was win-win for the Niners and SF, with the only losers perhaps being the taxpayers of Santa Clara.
    Big football stadiums that are used 10 times a year belong in the suburbs. The Warriors’ arena will get lots of use all year round, and is a better fit for the city.

  32. Posted by Rillion

    Yeah such a shame that SF nimby’s and hippie’s weren’t willing to be on the hook for up to $400 million and then get sued by the 49’ers when the state gets rid of redevelopment angecies and the city tries to spend the remaining redevelopment funds on things like schools rather then giving it to the 49ers.

  33. Posted by inclinejj

    waaaa cry me a river hippie and nimby’s. The tax payers also voted down the SF Giants stadium more then once. Not to think about the jobs brought into build it, people who go to the stadium who come into down for the weekend, using it for big conventions, concers and soccer.
    Not to mention a super bowl game or two that brings in millions to the area.
    You hippies are so self centered and only care about your own cause.

  34. Posted by Dan

    You don’t know your SF history, Inclinejj:
    The voters of SF approved the only 49ers stadium ballot proposal in 1997. It was delayed because of Eddie DeBartolo bribery conviction, and then the new owners, the Yorks, killed the deal in 2006. The Yorks wanted to move the team to Silicon Valley.
    The SF Giants, by the way, still play in SF!

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