Cultural & Institutional

Jessie Square



Jessie Square
San Francisco, CA

Client
San Francisco Redevelopment Agency
Awards
Award of Merit, Urban Design | AIA California
Award of Merit, Urban Design | ASLA California
Photography
Bruce Damonte

Jessie Square sits atop a four-level, underground parking garage on the north side of Mission Street across from Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco.

The plaza's design intertwines grass, shrubs, and water to transform the eight-foot elevation difference between the Mission Street sidewalk and the Contemporary Jewish Museum into a stairs-free gradual slope. Creating multiple zones for public gathering and seating, the design incorporates green lawns, stone platforms, and custom wood benches made from four-inch-thick slabs of reclaimed mahogany. The benches are presented as raised visual features, which define and anchor horizontal elements within the landscape.


Below the plaza, the Jessie Square Parking Garage accommodates 450 cars, involving a total area of 241,000 square feet. The parking garage, also designed by Handel Architects, interfaces with the neighboring Argent Hotel, the newly completed Contemporary Jewish Museum, and St. Patrick's Church. Pedestrian access to the garage is via stairwell entrances incorporated within the Contemporary Jewish Museum and via two elevators located in the rebuilt St. Patrick's Church's Sacristy Extension.

The Plaza further enhances the pedestrian connection between Market and Mission Streets and the cultural institutions that surround Yerba Buena Gardens, while the Garage discreetly provides much needed parking to the area.