Concept Design, Design
Interiors and building systems in collaboration with Paulett Taggart Architects
Mechanical: SJ Engineers
Electrical: FW Associates
Plumbing: SJ Engineers
Civil: Telamon Engineer Consultants
Structural: Bello and Associates
Landscape: Cliff Lowe Associates
Pool: Aquatic Design Group
Lighting: Auerbach Glasow French
Acoustics: Charles Salter Associates
This project replaces the popular but deteriorated public pool facility in Larsen Park along 19th Avenue with a new indoor pool for recreation and competitive use. The building is sited and designed for its unique conditions—a heavily used public facility located in a public park that fronts a major vehicular thoroughfare on one side and residential neighborhood on the other.
Larsen Park is an underutilized, but significant green space in the Sunset District of San Francisco. To maximize open space and retain mature trees the new indoor pool facility is designed as a compact series of forms at the southern end of the park. The building nestles into the sloped park landscape at the north and has expansive windows on the south taking advantage of the views of Stern Grove.
The building, a series of simple yet monumental interlocking forms, is made of architecturally exposed cast-in-place concrete and aluminum curtain wall system—sustainable materials selected for their durability and suitability for a pool and a park setting. The curtain wall pattern is carefully articulated to create a contrast to the monumental concrete forms. Panels of hand-crafted ceramic tiles add complexity to the exterior walls, allowing the walls to read both as large planes and as flanked frames that turn around the building further enhancing its volume. The main space of the building, the natatorium, offers natural, diffused light and windows on four sides framing the surrounding majestic views of the park setting. Roof monitors and a sunscreen contribute to the quality of the natural light. The option for natural ventilation on temperate days is provided by low operable windows for intake and high operable windows for exhaust. Cedar wood slats over acoustical material create a comfortable environment for the swimmers and hand-crafted ceramic tiles in a bold blue color create an enclosure for the pool equipment.
This project was executed as a joint venture of Mark Cavagnero Associates and Paulett Taggart Architects. Mark Cavagnero Associates was responsible for the concept. The design was developed collaboratively with Mark Cavagnero Associates responsible for the exterior shell and Paulett Taggart Architects responsible for the interior architecture and systems.