Rendering by: Steelblue
The Presidio Exchange (PX) design is a collaborative effort with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy (GGNPC). The PX is a proposed park-based cultural center that creates, curates, and hosts unique public experiences at the Presidio—reflecting the heritage of this national park and the creativity of the Bay Area while connecting to the larger world.
Nestled next to the new tunnel tops bluff which connects Crissy Field to the Presidio’s Main Post with two land bridges over Doyle Drive, the final design for the PX provides 55,000 square feet of interior program space and two large outdoor courtyards. The proposed building combines elements of the former Commissary building (existing Sports Basement) with new construction to the East. Originally submitted as a two phase 97,000 square foot project, at the Presidio Trust’s request, the final revised scheme presented to the Presidio Trust on January 17th, has not been selected.
The heart of the project is an X-shaped public gathering space that acts as a public living room and ties the surrounding programs together while connecting the PX to the park on all sides. The PX acts as a programmatic bridge orienting visitors to a wide variety of offerings within the Presidio and also as a physical bridge – connecting directly to the tunnel tops landscape and beyond, to the Presidio Main Post.
The design opens large portions of the building’s exterior walls to magnificent views of the Golden Gate, converts it to a flexible event and exhibit space and expands to the east, connecting to new visitor amenities through the “X”. One leg of the “X” aligns with a view to the Golden Gate Bridge while others connect to the landscape creating a central hub. A new landscape berm and courtyard to the south of the building integrates the PX with the historic bluff and buffers the project from the freeway. The PX was designed to LEED Platinum status and used the guidelines found in the Living Building Challenge.
Formally, the design strives to match the scale of its surroundings with three different material palettes: the rustic concrete of the existing structure, the crisp and minimal lines of the glass “X” volume and the warm wood textures of the new programmatic volumes. The idea was to respect the context and history of the place in massing and scale while using materials that bridge the past and the future, detailed for the rough exposure of this spectacular site.