City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

July 19, 2010

Civic Design Review Committee - July 19, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010
3:00 p.m.
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70


Commissioners present: Leo Chow, Cass Calder Smith, Kimberlee Stryker
Staff present: Luis R. Cancel, Vicky Knoop


Call to order: 2:55


  1. Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant?: Phase 3
    Daniel Wright, Architect, Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, Engineers and Architects explained that the site plan includes a treated water tank, two small structures, and an emergency chlorination facility. Since Phase 2 review, the gutter was reduced in size, and the proportion and texture of the retaining walls were modified per the Commissioners comments.  The irrigation system has been made permanent because of problems with the construction of a temporary system.

    Commissioner Stryker asked about the color of the tank.

    Mr. Wright explained that it is green and was chosen via a community process.

    Commissioner Smith asked about the plant list.

    Mr. Wright replied that it is all native and low to no maintenance plants. He added that they eliminated the pine trees because the existing pine trees are not thriving.

    Commissioner Chow asked about the gutter size.

    Mr. Wright replied that they reduced the size as much as possible.

    Motion to approve Phase 3 of the Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant?: Commissioner Smith

    Vote: Unanimously approved

  2. Mission Playground Renovation Project: Phase 3
    Edward Chin, Landscape Architect, DPW BOE  introduced Andrew Maloney, Architect, DPW BOA. He explained that the palm tree has been replaced by a multi trunk palm and two other trees were added to the plaza per the Commissioners comments at the last meeting.  The curbs that define the planting areas will now be permeable pavers. He added that the fence along Valencia Street and 19th Street is being used for art enrichment and can not be removed.

    Commissioner Chow asked about the palm.

    Mr. Chin explained that the palm will be 20 to 25 feet tall.

    Commissioner Stryker asked about the location of the bugambilia.

    Mr. Chin replied that it is on a trellis and not in a walking area.

    Motion to approve Phase 3 of the Mission Playground Renovation Project: Commissioner Smith

    Vote: Unanimously approved.

  3. Palega Recreation Center: Phase 1
    Laura Blake, Architect, Mark Cavagnero Associates, told the Committee that Marvin Yee, Recreation and Park Project Manager, will not be able to attend the meeting.  She introduced the project and explained that the bond requires a full upgrade of the site and building including ADA and seismic retrofits.  The current design is on track for LEED Silver certification. The Department of Recreation and Parks approved the concept plan and has had community input on the design. She introduced Adrianne Wong, Landscape Architect, Adrianne Wong Associates and Viral Vithalani, Mark Cavagnero Associates. The site plan includes renovations to baseball diamonds, tennis courts and basketball courts. The historic building currently lacks a formal entry, and one of the goals of the project is to create a clear, safe and accessible entry space.  The community has asked to connect the building to the outdoors. The design team responded to these needs with an addition to the west side of the existing building that will create a clear entry statement and connect the building to the playground and courts.

    Mr. Cavagnero said that there will be a seating area for parents near the playground that faces west and is covered by a canopy.  The canopy will have a simple steel structure that extends from the building. The landscaping near the new entry has created a congregating space. One of the problems with the current structure is that the front of the building has arches with stairs and it is easily mistaken for the front door. The stairs will be removed and the archways will become glass windows. The steel canopy will be pulled from the wall and has been made as light as possible to be a counterpoint to the strong primary structure.  The roof will have solar panels and skylights to allow more daylight into the building.  The steel mesh panels will be used for sun protection during the day and security when slid closed at night. 

    Ms. Blake presented some of the sustainability features including photovoltaic panels, radiant floor heat and natural ventilation. The site will have xeriscape planting around the perimeter with low water turf and sport turf within the fields.  There will also be bioswales for water runoff.  A path through the site will also be added.   
    Commissioner Smith commented favorably on the lightness of the addition. He noted that the facade should be considered from the floor level down.
    Mr. Cancel asked about the perspectives and commented that the visible wall through the windows would be a good space for public art.

    Commission Stryker asked about landscape programming.  

    Ms. Wong replied that there will be be xeriscape and wildlife habitat around the site. The pathway will be used by many who walk or jog in the area and the tiered steps near the entry canopy will be a gathering space.  

    Commissioner Stryker asked the team to remove the lawn area from the front of the windows and have it all xeriscaped.  
    Commissioner Chow said that he likes that the modern design against the historic building and added that there are a lot of possibilities for art in the back of the building area.

    Jennifer Lovvorn, SFAC Project Manager explained that there are several sites available for public art.  There is currently a RFQ out, and three artist will be selected to develop proposals.
    Commissioner Stryker asked if there is a way to bring the bioswales near the play area for integration of nature for kids to observe. 

    Mr. Cancel commented that the steel beams may cause a hazard for the play area. He also suggested that the acoustics of the space be considered.

    Ms. Blake replied that they are currently looking into solutions to mitigate noise.

    Mr. Cavagnero added that breaking up the multi use space into separate areas will also help reduce sound.

    Motion to approve Phase 1 of Palega Recreation Center: Commissioner Smith

    Vote: Unanimously approved.

  4. University Mound Renewable Hydroelectric Plant: Phase 1 and 2
    Kent Ford, Architect, DPW BOA, presented the site plan and explained that there are two structures. He introduced Marther Ketterer, Landscape Architect, DPW BOA.

    Ms. Ketterer presented the landscape plan which includes a drainage swale from the roof and native grass and wildflower hydroseed.  

    Mr. Ford said they will try to keep the roof free of equipment. He explained that there is a small overhang on the edge of the building. He presented the design progression to express the retaining wall as a separate structure.  He presented three schemes for the building.  The first is all concrete.  The second adds another texture in corrugated metal or textured concrete.  He also presented a color and materials board.

    Commissioner Smith commented that the color should be the darker more neutral scheme.  He added that the back retaining wall should be a bit longer.  He added that the roof can be gravel. 

    Commissioner Chow commented that editing down the design and moving towards simpler forms is the right direction.  He suggested removing the canopy and extending the roof to cover the door.  He added that the windows should be clerestories or slots. He suggested looking into The Schindler House.

    Commissioner Smith suggested using the existing PUC color palate so there is system consistency.

    Commissioner Stryker asked about the plant material in the drawings.

    Mr. Ford explained that the renderings have different plantings than in the landscape plan.

    Commissioner Stryker suggested that the planting be all one continuous piece.

    Motion to approve Phase 1 and 2 with the condition of removing the canopy and maintaining consistency with other colors used on PUC structures: Commissioner Smith

    Vote: Unanimously approved.

  5. Calaveras Dam Replacement Project: Phase 2
    Dan Wade, Project Manager, SFPUC, explained the history of the site and presented images of the replacement dam.  He introduced Kent Ford, Architect, DPW BOA and Andrew Maloney, Architect, DPW BOA.

    Mr. Ford presented images of the existing water outlet structure and the water temples. He explained that the project team would be using the existing building as the guide for the design. Since the last review, a bridge has been added, the number of columns have been reduced and the equipment platform has been brought inside of the structure.  The electrical building will be detailed similarly to the water outlet structure, and the two buildings will complement each other.

    Mr. Maloney said that the materials will be stucco, cast stone, and concrete.  He presented two color samples of off white and sandstone, both with texture to look like cut stone.  He added that they are looking to detail the building with more traditional Willis Polk style architecture. He commented that they will pay close attention to the detail work.

    Commissioner Smith asked if the window grills could match the terracotta roof.  

    Commissioner Chow recommended the limestone color.  He emphasized the importance of the joint sizes. 

    Commissioner Stryker asked about the demolition of the original structure and if it could be left in place and no longer serviced.

    Mr. Wade replied that it is seismically unsafe for PUC workers, the new structure, and equipment.

    Motion to approve Phase 2 of the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project with contingency to use cast limestone and match the window grills to the roof: Commissioner Smith

    Vote: Unanimously approved.

  6. Forest Hill Pump Station: Phase 3
    Mitchell Joe, Architect, DPW BOA, explained that since the last review, the entry door has been widened and the engineers requested another row of louvres. The bollards were removed per the Committee’s request.

    Commissioner Smith commented that they remove the louver above the door and increase the height of the doors to the next score line. They should also remove the reveal line wrapping around the building, keeping the center line reveal.

    Commissioner Smith commented that the louvers and flashing should match the building.  

    Motion to approve Phase 3 of the Forest Hill Pump Station with the contingency to remove the louver above the door, increase the door size to the next score line, and remove the part of the reveal that wraps around the building: Commissioner Smith

    Vote: Unanimously approved.

  7. Sunset Playground Renovation Project: Phase 3
    Douglas Ullman, Architect, DPW BOA, introduced the project presented the changes since Phase 2 review. The glazing is now lighter and the bronze is a darker color. He explained that the glazing could not be full story as previously presented and the windows were reduced on the second story.  In addition the roof was lifted slightly and the restroom doors were moved to be visible from the fields.

    Commissioner Smith asked about the storage area and suggested shortening the equipment screen. Looking at the restroom entry on the back of the structure, he suggested having the same look on both sides and pushing the doors together.
    Commission Chow suggested moving the pipe from the middle of the wall and combining the two edge pieces of the storage area.

    Commissioner Smith said that the the front of the building, the two windows on the second story should be a little larger.  He added that the door should meet the window and there should be an internal roof drain.

    Commissioner Chow commented that the entry is looking residential because of the beam and should be glass.

    Paul Travis, Architect, DPW BOA, replied that for engineering reasons it could not be glass, but it could be metal.

    Commissioner Chow agreed that it should be metal and should be below the doors as well.

    Mr. Ullman explained that the roofing material suggested in the last review could not meet requirements. 

    Motion to approve with Phase 3 of the Sunset Playground Renovation Project with a contingency to reduce the equipment screen, use metal panels around the glass entry, reduce the appearance of drainage pipes, investigate alternatives to the shingle roof, and make the four punch opening windows a consistent height: Commissioner Smith

    Vote: Unanimously approved

  8. New Business: There was no new business.

  9. Adjournment: 6:20 p.m.

vmk 7/27/10