Location: San Francisco, CA Completed: 2015 Client: Pebblebrook Hotel Trust Design Architect: Dawson Design Associates, Seattle Executive Architect: Stanton Architects Artists: Charles Gadeken and Julie Coyle Art Associate Photography: David Phelps Photography and JETT Landscape Architecture + Design
This urban adult playscape at the heart of the Hotel Zephyr reinvigorates a tired strip hotel facing San Francisco’s iconic Fisherman’s Wharf, capturing the imagination of tourists and locals alike. In an exuberant play of scale, iconic childhood games such as Jenga, Candyland, Connect Four, and Chutes & Ladders become larger than life in a literal sense, growing to sizes well beyond that of the original board games. These oversized childhood icons share the courtyard with other games such as shuffleboard and “tuble tennis.” Zones of play and rest intermingle amidst an array of sensory delights: a fire pit made of flaming computer monitors sculpted in steel recall the antics of Ant Farm and Burning Man while colorful façades made of fragmented shipping containers spill over with vines and succulents. The surreal portions of the design are balanced by revisiting the memory of the city’s formerly industrial waterfront. Throughout the courtyard, portholes and harpoons were incorporated into the design as a part of grittier, more true-to-life motifs such as decaying concrete walls, steel sheet-pile planters, a fountain of broken pipes, a minimalistic palette of rugged coastal plants, and gabion walls filled with recycled aluminum cans, abalone shells, and cobblestones.