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Water Front Ocean Beach

Type: Master plan, urban park in coastal edge
Year: 2012
Location: Ocean Beach, San Francisco, California
Area: 1.5 ha.

The master plan for Ocean Beach, one of San Francisco's most important beaches and urban parks, integrates climate change issues of rising sea levels and restoring damaged coastal ecosystems, with improving public space access and quality (SPUR).

This project (Landscape architecture workshop, UC Berkeley, 2012) addresses two of the key elements of the Ocean Beach Master Plan, landscape restoration and management of advancing coastal dunes toward the city, and improvement of existing public space along the historic O’Shaughnessy wall.

The project is developed as a transition space and boundary between the beach area and the city. The analysis is based on an understanding of key elements that provide the spatial qualities allowing the site to provide both recreational services and the sensation of natural space, not altered by man,  despite the fact that the dunes were constructed artificially in order to control the encroachment of the beach into the city. .

The result of the project is a hybrid built landscape, between city and nature, which addresses the problems of coastal ecosystems and their dynamics as well as the dynamics of urban spaces. A public space is built as an artificial wooden dune that takes the characteristics that the dunes naturally offer, such as privacy, wind protection, and slope, among others. This artificial dune has the function of shifting the public space toward the interior of the city, releasing a section of the beach to restore it and continue the habitat of coastal dune, thus providing protection for the city from the advancing dunes.