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Balboa Park Pool, San Francisco, California

San Francisco is in the process of upgrading its nine public pools. Balboa Park Pool is the first to be completed in this program.

Numerous public meetings were held leading up to the final design to assure that the community’s voices were heard. The project was fully reviewed by various agencies including the Planning Department, Parks Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, and Arts Commission. Improvements include expansive windows, structural and mechanical upgrades to the building, a fully renovated pool, locker rooms with showers, a new community room and a 37’x13’ mural by local artist Jason Jägel. 

Miller Company provided landscape architecture design services for the project. We collaborated with the joint venture architecture team to redesign the building’s complicated entry sequence. We were required to maintain the existing  curving ramp and railings remaining from the the original 1957 building design that had fallen into disrepair. Our design includes the full renovation of the ramp and new stairs at the entry with integrated terraced planting areas filled with vivid succulents. We incorporated the grove of existing olive trees at the front of the building and highlighted the raised area with a swirling graphic design painted on the pavement to enliven the entry experience. New native and drought tolerant plantings are in place underlying the existing trees and surrounding the entry ramp. A safe route for pedestrian access from the sidewalk to the building has been established and a sitting area has been created furnished with benches and bike racks. The parking area has been reconfigured to maximize the amount of public parking per the community’s request as Balboa Pool is a very popular facility and sits adjacent to the 21-acre Balboa Park. 

Credits
Owner: San Francisco Recreation and Parks
Landscape Architect: Miller Company Landscape Architects
Joint Venture Architects: Kuth Ranieri / ELS
Landscape Contractor: Neary Landscape
General Contractor: CLW Builders