Honorable Mention: Helen Diller Civic Center Playground
Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture
Joy and optimism are at the heart of the Helen Diller Civic Center playgrounds, as they enrich not only the lives of children and families but also the city landscape. Articulating the form of fog sweeping across San Francisco, steel members spiral and twist while stretching blue and silver nets across the playgrounds. Children climb through the cloud-like webs to reach platforms and slides that offer views across the plaza and to twinkling pixel poles of pulsing light, creating a living ambiance that extends into the evening hours. The process of building these spaces involved an incredible coming together of private, public, interagency, historic, technical, and community forces and has catalyzed a new life within San Francisco’s Civic Center district. Within a ten-minute walk of the new playgrounds, over 36,000 people call this area home. Reclaiming the plaza as a place to play, gather and grab a bite to eat has helped San Francisco become a more livable city.