The Yard at India Basin has a layered history of lived experience with San Francisco Bay. It is one of the last remnants of the San Francisco shoreline where people had a direct connection to the water as a way of life. The presence of generations of laboring shipwrights protected this piece of shoreline, valuing the building and launch of their vessels over filling the Bay to claim more property.
This proposal celebrates a landscape through time by unraveling both its natural and human-made history while also celebrating a communal future. When entering the yard one feels a sense of energy, action and connection—a hub for food, boat making, sailing and cultural reflection. It is a meeting ground for neighbors, many of whom have spent their life here as well as the many newcomers and travelers passing through.
We have to be careful to not to sanitize or overwhelm this remarkable site by going for an overnight transformation with high-end design on an ambitious budget. It might be better to spend less on day one and see what is fitting with everyone – incrementally create a collection of new “devices” to go with the old ones. It will be easier to raise a smaller amount at least to start so something could be completed sooner and build it out more organically. We should have a smart phasing plan so that the community gets their needs addressed up front. Over time they will have the best idea how much is appropriate long term.
With a growing population and rising tides this India Basin shoreline will change— both through environmental flux and human actions, so the Yard could be thought of as a scaffold upon which to further evolve.