A possible future for Center Street

Hood Design

Following Berkeleyside’s coverage of the Streets and Open Space Improvement Plan yesterday, San Francisco Chronicle architecture critic John King hailed one potential element in today’s paper. He looks at the work that Walter Hood and his practice Hood Design have done on Center Street:

[Hood] treats the block as pedestrian terrain, the rigid 13-foot climb to the campus given a fluid topographical form. The pavement would be permeable to rainfall and part in two spots, an eddy-like pool near the campus that rises and falls with the seasons and a redwood-lined “stream” to the west, shallow enough for children to explore.

The pragmatics? The eddy would be off-limits, buffered by shrubs and low walls. There’d be vehicle access off-hours for deliveries to restaurants on the south side of the block. Existing street trees would remain, along with space for cafes to put out tables.

You can see more of Hood’s plan for Center Street on his practice’s site. King’s conclusion is effusive: “Hood fuses ecological symbolism and smart urbanism. He understands that a seductive urban space can be a catalyst that makes the future come alive.”