Waterfront open space is a key aspect of the early design of a proposed new arena for the Warriors, including an open-air walkway around the building that would lead to a public observation deck and rooftop viewing platform.
Initial proposals for the 17,500-seat arena and a related retail project on Piers 30-32 were unveiled Monday by the basketball team and the two companies it hired to design the project — Snøhetta and AECOM.
Click on the photo to see more renderings of the proposed Warriors arena.
The arena would be located away from the shoreline on the southeastern portion of the piers and be turned slightly — design elements meant to position the 170,000-square-foot facility so as to maintain public views of San Francisco Bay from several vantage points.
The building’s exact design is not final, but Craig Dykers of Snøhetta said it would be a lozenge-shaped building constructed with a façade primarily consisting of semi-opaque glass with a whitish frit, or dotted, pattern. The exterior is meant to make the building translucent and light-colored but also environmentally friendly by limiting some of the direct sunlight streaming in, he said.
“It is safe to say from the Warriors’ perspective that they have taken our vision and created something way beyond what we could have expected just a couple of months ago,” Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts said of the design.
On the building’s exterior, an open-air walkway would spiral up to an observation deck and a possible rooftop terrace — both of which would be publicly accessible. Dykers said that walking up and around the ramps would allow for views of The City, the Bay, the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island.
The arena would be ringed by public space allowing people to access the waterfront. Both the northern and southern portion of the piers would be open to the public, including possibly a space on the south side for water activities such as kayaking. Overall, the proposed development calls for open space on 333,000 square feet of the 548,000-square-foot piers.
A tiered plaza in the middle of the piers would serve several functions, concealing a 630-car underground parking structure while also maintaining a key sightline for views of the Bay, especially from The Embarcadero facing north.
“It allows you to see through to the Bay Bridge, and that view is going to be framed by the arena itself and the retail facilities,” Dykers said. “Our design is inviting the surrounding structures, inviting the Bay Bridge into the composition. In fact, it becomes a centerpiece to the design itself.”
The project’s 105,000 square feet of planned retail space would be housed along The Embarcadero. Preliminary plans call for the buildings to be designed like the historic warehouses that already line the waterfront.
Other plans include removing 8,000 square feet of the pier as part of the design and adding maritime uses including a ferry landing, a water taxi landing, and a San Francisco Fire Department boat station.
The Warriors say they would like to move the team from its current home in Oakland and play in The City for the 2017-18 season.
The proposed design will go before a citizens’ advisory committee tonight. The project, which would be privately financed by the Warriors, still needs approval from local and state agencies. A second development across The Embarcadero from the Piers 30-32 site is still being designed by the Warriors.