Thursday, January 24, 2008

San Francisco Visions

Interesting visions, but not sure I’d want to live there then, but I don’t now, (love the Sacramento suburbs) so…go figure.

Local architects offer their visions of S.F. 100 years hence in a competition
John King, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, January 21, 2008

The jury has spoken - and it wants San Francisco in 2108 to be a place where forests of towers grow algae as well as house people, and where geothermal steam baths sprout atop Twin Peaks.

Those elements are part of the proposal by IwamotoScott Architecture, selected Sunday as the winner of an eight-team competition to imagine how San Francisco could change during a century likely to be defined by global warming and the search for new forms of energy.

In addition to a $10,000 prize, architects Lisa Iwamoto and Craig Scott received the satisfaction of triumphing over rivals who offered such visions as an offshore island housing 250,000 people and 40-story towers used for commercial farming.

The selection was made by a six-member jury that placed more emphasis on originality than practicality. Nonetheless, the winners said a city that produces its own energy - such as the hydrogen that would be generated by vast vertical fields of algae - and moves most travel underground shouldn't be all that far-fetched.

"We were thinking of the city as an evolutionary beast," said Iwamoto, a design lecturer at UC Berkeley as well as the operator, with Scott, her husband, of a four-person firm based in the couple's Mission District loft. "You create certain conditions, and that allows other things to happen."

Festivities kicked off at 10 a.m. on the second floor of the Ferry Building with each team having three hours to assemble their model of the city to be. Milling among them were design junkies and their families, augmented by Ferry Building visitors drawn upstairs by banners and announcements.

Often, the different visions overlapped. Most consigned private cars to the dustbin of history. At least four incorporated fog-harvesting machines to pull water from air and put it to use.

But if the details were similar, the designs were all over the map. Fougeron Architecture focused on self-reliant sustainability by lining the bay with agricultural towers that would grow the region's food - "we checked, and they could also be used to raise chickens and pigs," said architect Anne Fougeron. "Cows would still need to graze somewhere else."