SF Rec and Park’s Hayes Valley Playground Wins AIA Citation Award 2013


SF Rec and Park’s Hayes Valley Playground Wins AIA Citation Award 2013


SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today that American Institute of Architect (AIA) San Francisco Chapter has recognized the recently renovated Hayes Valley Playground and Clubhouse as a safe facility that fosters an appreciation for nature and social gathering with 2013 AIA’s Citation Award.  The renovation and outstanding design is a partnership between SF Rec and Park, The Trust for Public Land (TPL), and WRNS Studio.


Hayes Valley Playground is a 2500-square foot neighborhood park located on the corner of Hayes and Buchanan Street since 1958 with a basketball and tennis court, children’s playground clubhouse.  For decades, the park has provided enriching youth program and cultural activities for the communities.  The $3.9 million renovation project completed in 2011 is funded by gifts from TPL and SF Rec and Park.  A recent study by TPL, RAND Corporation and the San Francisco Health Department indicates that the park use has increased five-fold since its reopening.


“We are proud to be part of the efforts in Hayes Valley Playground receiving the prestigious AIA Citation Award.  The Trust for Public Land has been a tremendous partner in helping SF Rec and Park to revitalize parks in some of the City’s densest urban neighborhoods,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager.  “We also want to thank WRNS Studio for working with us to design a park that reflects the characters of San Franciscans and meets the needs of our communities.”


In 2008, with lead funds from corporate contributors and government and non-government matching funds, TPL launched “Parks for People – San Francisco Initiative”, an effort to renovate three neighborhood parks in some of San Francisco’s communities with great needs for quality park and open space.  The three parks are Hayes Valley Playground in Western Addition, Boeddeker Park in Tenderloin, and Balboa Park in Excelsior.  For all the park renovations, TPL has led an extensive participatory design process to engage the community and solicit their ideas for park design.


“This is terrific news.  We designed this park to meet a wide variety of needs and uses for people in Hayes Valley, one of San Francisco’s most diverse and vibrant neighborhoods,” said Will Rogers, president of The Trust for Public Land.  “It is wonderful that AIA recognized the importance of building parks like Hayes Valley, where people and families can enjoy the outdoors.  We also want to thank the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.  This has been a team effort, and they have been a great partner.”


“This was such a satisfying project for WRNS to be a part of.  TPL, SF Rec and Park, and the Hayes Valley community came to together to create what we hope is both a reflection and delight for the community. We’re pleased that the AIA recognized the value of this project.” said Bryan Shiles, WRNS Studio Partner.


After the renovation, Hayes Valley Playground is now an outdoor playground organized by age-specific programs, and engages recycled materials and pervious surfaces to further minimize environmental impact. Inside, patrons have free access to a large recreation room and a multi-use computer room which can be used for community meetings. These two main volumes are lightly joined by the living roof, which creates a protected patio below. Throughout, the site is embraced by thoughtful, water-efficient landscaping that contributes to a peaceful sense of place where neighborhood residents can gather, relax, and play outdoors in a healthy and livable community setting.  The Playground was designed to support physical heath, and features a “fitness zone” of outdoor exercise equipment and play structures that encourage more vigorous physical activity.


In addition, the new design of Hayes Valley Clubhouse is a sustainable, educational environment that integrates a holistic system of passive site and building strategies, including a living roof, solar hot water heating, and passive cooling.  The building is oriented to take maximum advantage of the site’s sun and wind conditions, allowing for optimal daylighting and ventilation. Nestled back into a slight incline along the site’s southern edge, the low profile wood and glass structure, clad in a visually arresting rainscreen, prioritizes the site’s open playground and park areas to invite visitors from the main entrance on Hayes Street.


In existence for nearly half a century, AIA San Francisco’s Design Awards program recognizes the outstanding achievements in architecture and design of Bay Area individuals and organizations as well as celebrates the distinguished work of architects and related professionals from afar who contribute to the framework of our local built environment. The program serves to inform the public of the breadth and value of architectural practice.



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