Fort Mason

As we reported earlier this year, while there’s currently no budget to implement the plans, invitations were sent to a select group of firms to participate in a design competition for “creative and practical” concepts to “enliven and integrate” the 13-acre waterfront campus that is San Francisco’s Fort Mason.

Designed by the military with gates and retaining walls to separate the Fort from the city, ideas for improving the Fort’s connection is a key element on which concepts were to be judged. And from the rough concepts submitted by invited firms, three finalists have been selected and their designs are now on display at the Fort Mason Center as well as online.


The proposals include a full-time public market with an aerial transporter and bridge connecting the upper and lower parts of the Fort (the Bruner/Cott concept); floating swimming pools and bridges (the West 8 concept); and a reformed ship which would be permanently docked at the Fort as a floating hotel (the AMP Arquitectos concept):

Fort Mason Floating Hotel

Each of the final three designs will be evaluated based on “design merit and the positive impact the proposal will have on the center,” and a winner will be announced. But once again, at the moment they’re not competing for anything other than bragging rights.

∙ Fort Mason Design Competition Finalist Designs: Bruner/Cott | West 8 | AMP Arquitectos

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by nancydrew99

    Floating pool? Yes!

  2. Posted by lyqwyd

    make it so.

  3. Posted by MichaelG

    They all look great! Looks like it’ll be a strong competition!!!

  4. Posted by david m

    disappointingly limited changes in all cases. sure, it’s unfunded, with a limited mandate and mission, but surely the changes must be more extensive than simply increasing access to the green and point, improving finishings and street furniture, or bringing us yet more underused pier space. assuming the f-line extension is on track, i suggest four words for the route forward: granville island public market.

  5. Posted by Invented

    1. Ferry station (think commuting to Mountain View, SSF, other).
    2. Water taxi
    3. F train
    Like the plans, but it needs to be a water transit center, and less car centric. Some of this is already addressed in the plans, not sure why no budget for redev here — excellent opportunity to bring in select commerce (offices/top floors?) to fund some of this important & exciting development.

  6. Posted by Jacob

    Should be great for District 7 (Marina, Cow Hollow) property! Rents and prices should go much higher.

  7. Posted by Rob

    Each of these proposals share interesting ideas for use of space in practical ways, but I think that the West 8 deck is full of super smart suggestions and what seems to be a greater overall, longer-term vision for the area. If I had the money, I’d throw it at them in a minute.

  8. Posted by redseca2

    The public market concept is very much like Granville Island in Vancouver and that would be very good.

  9. Posted by david m

    granville island has:
    – a famous art school
    – a great public market with loads of stalls including bakery, butchery, charcuterie, pastry, wine shop, etc.
    – a playhouse theatre
    – galleries
    – a brewery/brew pub
    – multiple restaurants
    – a bunch of local retail
    – hotel
    – light industrial
    and more.
    it’s a sort of anti-fisherman’s wharf/pier 39.
    even if the market proposal here is an improvement, the site will need a lot more in order to attract visitors to somewhere so out of the way.

  10. Posted by BobN

    I see none of the entrants stole my idea for long slides to connect upper Fort Mason with lower Fort Mason. Pity, though I do like the zig-zag skate-board thingy.

  11. Posted by Gabriel

    Having the F-train run through the Fort again would be amazing! Love the rendering showing the tracks.. now we just need to extend the F-line all the way to the Marina.

  12. Posted by heynonnynonny

    I’d like to hear more details about the great white in the first proposal. Feeding it drugged sea lions from pier 39 seems like a huge crowd-pleaser.

  13. Posted by Gregg

    They’re all awful. Really? This is the very best they could do? Really? Sigh.

  14. Posted by SFBuyer

    Anyone else troubled by that shark?

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