City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

September 20, 2010

Civic Design Review Committee - September 20, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010
3:00 p.m.
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70


Commissioners present: Commissioner Smith, Commissioner Breitenberg, Commissioner Chow, Commissioner Stryker
Commissioners absent: None
Staff present: Vicky Knoop


Call to order: 3:00


  1. Regional Groundwater Storage and Recovery - Phase 1
    Greg Bartow, Project Manager, SFPUC explained that the project encompasses several sites from San Francisco to Milbrae. There are sixteen well stations in the program, seven of which will be presented today.

    Mike Pierron, Project Architect, DPW BOA, presented design options for the stations which use a modular style to accommodate the varying lengths of the buildings.  Design elements of the local groundwater system, which was previously approved by the Committee, have been used in this design.  He presented the siting for each structure and explained that the functional elements and driveways are centralized on the non pubic side of the building.

    Martha Ketterer, Landscape Architect, DPW BOE, presented the landscape plan for each site. She explained that several of the sites are obscured from public view and will need a landscape that is maintenance free. The sites will use permeable paving, hydroseed and bioswales.

    Mr. Pierron explained that each site does not yet have renderings, but they have similar styles. He went through the sites and explained how each related to it’s surrounding community.

    Commissioner Chow joined the meeting at 3:35 p.m.

    Commissioner Smith commented that these buildings lack the interesting forms of the local groundwater stations. He added that each of these should be recognizable and unique.  He also asked if the building could be turned.

    Mr. Bartow explained that because of the direction of the pipeline, the structures can not be turned more than a few degrees.

    Commissioner Smith asked about the shape and materials compared to the local groundwater stations.

    Mr. Pierron said that the footprint of these buildings is a rectangle and the design of the local stations didn’t work as well with this footprint.  He added that many cities are involved with the maintenance of the buildings and there was concern about the metal used in the local stations.

    Commissioner Chow commented that the Donald Judd inspiration images that the project team presented were intended to change a viewers perception of the landscape.  He added that this might not work with all of the elements of the presented structures.

    Commissioner Chow asked about chain link fence.

    Ms. Ketterer explained that the back side will have fencing, but not the front side.  

    Mr. Bartow explained that several cities are concerned about graffiti.

    Commissioner Stryker asked that the forms in the surrounding areas need to be drawn into the renderings. She added that the driveway should be separated as much as possible from the building. She added that there may be a few sites in which tree screening could be useful.

    Commissioner Chow commented that they could also use trees to create public spaces around these buildings.  Additionally, the detailing of the structures is very important and if the design team decides to go very simple, any signs or lights that are added could be a problem.

    Commissioner Smith asked that the project return to the Committee with a clear direction to be either more sculptural and abstract or much simpler.  He asked that they look at the proportions of the buildings, think about the landscape as a foreground, and remember that these buildings will be looked at as historical in 50 years.

  2. Civic Design Review Revised Guidelines and Checklist

    Motion to approve the revised guidelines for Civic Design Review Committee project submittals: Commissioner Chow
    Vote: Unanimously approved

  3. New Business: There was no new business.

  4. Adjournment: 4:25 p.m.

vmk 10/4/10