America's Cup Pavilion

San Francisco, California USA

Using the minimal material means of thin shell concrete hypar modules to create an excessive spatial effect.

The design challenge for this landscape/pavilion, to serve the immediate needs of the 2013 America's Cup and as a future public park/event space, was to establish a rigorous geometric structural system that is variable enough to synthesize the particularities of the program, circulation, and context--in reference to the water, terrain, and icons of the city. The project's underlying conceptual premise lies in the potential of two potential paradoxes: spatial surfaces and formal structures. How can spatial surfaces (the structural modules of hypars) and formal structures (projected waterlines) generate rules to create varied spatial effects while negotiating the specific needs of the building? These two paradoxes are integrated by varying the hypars' surface curvature: high degree curvature allows light and air below and lower degree curvature creates public access and use to the roofscape above. Projecting the waterlines onto the curved surfaces creates varied slopes to introduce ramped and stepped circulation, as well as seating and open spaces.

Main entry. Balancing excessive spatial forms of hyperbolic parabolas achieved through the minimal material means of concrete shells

Urban strategy: Merging the inward and outward orientation of existing piers 

Shallow and wide hypar roofs form amphitheaters to view eventcasts  

Steep and narrow spaces of rooftop evoke the city's hills

Derivation of distorted grid that order the field of hypars
1. Dock spacing
2. Longitudinal pull to draw people to pier end
3. Lateral distortion based on scales of different uses
4. Vertical extrusion to accommodate roof circulation and introduce light below


Extruding the inscribed waterlines on a hypar module based on surface curvature to form ramps, seating, and steps 

Parametric model calculates surface curvature and extrudes inscribed waterlevels according to appropriate use (ramp, seating, steps) 

Detail of extruded ramps, seating, and steps (in red) 

Higher peaks in the interior allow natural light below and evoke the sails of the docked catamarans. 3D Print model 

Long section evokes the geometry of the bridge and water 

The projected waterlevel lines of the bay create a terraced roofscape in order to navigate the curved hypar surfaces 

Hypars form a canopy below and terraced landscapes above 

Inscribed Waterlevels: The structure’s silhouette and spatial experience reference the hills, waves, and spans of the bay