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
Driving southbound along a particularly busy stretch of 19th Avenue in San Francisco’s notoriously fogged-in Sunset District, it’s easy to miss that moment when the streetscape changes. The gridiron of two-story pastel colored houses gives way to an expansive open space to the north. It’s as subtle of a transition as how the road itself gradually crawls and falls, echoing the undulating sand dunes that pre-dated the development of this part of the city.
If you look more closely, a grey horizontal building emerges, nestled close to the where the hard-edged streetscape meets this unexpected open space. Rounding the southern corner of Larson Park along Wawona Street, you’ll come across a protected courtyard that leads alluringly into an expansive, light-filled natatorium. Once inside, looking upwards you find windows on all four sides frame the surrounding views of Stern Grove. The option for natural ventilation on temperate days is provided by low operable windows for intake and high operable windows for exhaust. A finely articulated curtain wall pulls in light and warmth that floods through the southern exposure while operating in tandem with a series of skylights, roof monitors, and a sunscreen that diffuses and shapes the light within. 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.
Durable, climate-appropriate materials such as cast-in-place concrete and aluminum fenestration take on monumental characteristics as they define and protect the civic space. Not only is this designed to be a functionally and programmatically excellent pool to withstand decades, if not generations of continuous public use, Sava Pool has come to serve as The City of San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department’s model for subsequent pool remodel criteria. As a tangible indication of community respect, despite numerous buildings nearby being targeted for graffiti, this pool building has never been vandalized.
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.