Warriors want arena to fit in with neighbors

Courtesy RenderingNext-door nudge: Architects hope the Warriors arena will highlight the Bay Bridge.

Designers and planners of a proposed arena for the Warriors vowed Tuesday night to craft a design that honors its waterfront setting and incorporates sweeping views of San Francisco Bay and the nearby Bay Bridge.

The Warriors have proposed building a 17,000- to 19,000-seat arena on Piers 30-32, just south of the bridge on The Embarcadero. In late August, the team announced the selection of two companies — Snøhetta and AECOM — as the project architects.

During a Port of San Francisco citizens advisory committee meeting Tuesday night, Craig Dykers of Snøhetta talked about the location, his company’s other waterfront projects around the globe, and design elements that can help tie buildings to their surroundings.

Dykers cited projects such as the national opera house in Oslo, Norway, as large waterfront facilities that tied together their surrounding communities.

“We have a great potential here that is not just a basketball arena but also a culturally viable venue for The City and the region,” he said.

Dykers discussed elements of the site that will have to be tied together in the arena, including the broad, 13-acre piers. Although he noted that plans for the arena are in the very early stages, he suggested that the piers’ south-facing edges, which are sunnier, “should be open, should be about leisure.” The northern part of the pier opens into a smaller inlet and is more industrial.

“One has to address each of the sides of the pier in a way that is unique to its context,” Dykers said.

“Of course the Bay Bridge is a spectacular thing, and the bridge should be a focal point in the design,” he added.

The design team also is working to tie in a proposed development across The Embarcadero at Seawall Lot 330 and the surrounding area.

“This will be a challenging design project, of course, as the design also needs to be aware of the historic district in which it is nestled and the neighborhood that it edges,” said David Alumbaugh of the Planning Department.

Plans for what could be constructed on the site — including any retail, parking and open spaces — are expected to be released sometime in the middle of October.

“We are in the very early stages,” Dykers said. “We are trying to come up with very efficient ways of understanding how to have the least amount of physical impact on the site and how to make an efficient building, a sustainable building.”

mbillings@sfexaminer.com

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