Hood Design

Following Berkeleyside’s coverage of the Streets and Open Space Improvement Plan yesterday, San Francisco Chronicle architecture critic John King hailed one potential element in today’s paper. He looks at the work that Walter Hood and his practice Hood Design have done on Center Street:

[Hood] treats the block as pedestrian terrain, the rigid 13-foot climb to the campus given a fluid topographical form. The pavement would be permeable to rainfall and part in two spots, an eddy-like pool near the campus that rises and falls with the seasons and a redwood-lined “stream” to the west, shallow enough for children to explore.

The pragmatics? The eddy would be off-limits, buffered by shrubs and low walls. There’d be vehicle access off-hours for deliveries to restaurants on the south side of the block. Existing street trees would remain, along with space for cafes to put out tables.

You can see more of Hood’s plan for Center Street on his practice’s site. King’s conclusion is effusive: “Hood fuses ecological symbolism and smart urbanism. He understands that a seductive urban space can be a catalyst that makes the future come alive.”

Lance Knobel

Lance Knobel (co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine in Britain,...

Join the Conversation

2 Comments

  1. I’m Executive Director for nonprofit Ecocity Builders, the organization who is working with Walter Hood on the Center Street Plaza proposal. The proposal is working in sync with the City’s planning and policy process and is largely funded to date by Berkeley residents who want to see a new heart of the city emerge in downtown, one that is beautiful and practical, buildable. After over two and a half years of process this plan is ready for next steps – detailed technical studies and design work. Please consider following the process unfolding via our Facebook page and please become a fan! – Kirstin Miller, Ecocity Builders and Citizens for a Strawberry Creek Plaza, Berkeley

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Citizens-for-a-Strawberry-Creek-Plaza-Berkeley/304782559235