RIDGE LANE PARCEL 4
San Francisco, CA
Design & Impact
The design focuses heavily on the needs of the neighbors to have a safe and navigable path with a strong sense of neighborhood identity in replacement of what is now a hazardous derelict trail. This was accomplished by creating a flexible design module that could adapt to each parcels unique characteristics. The arrangement of the path has a clear line of site throughout each parcel ensuring visibility for better safety while also providing visual interest with its meandering arrangement. Each parcel entrance will have clearly labeled signage and signifiers to orient users. The design preserves and enhances the existing views by using low planting were views should be preserved. Gabion benches are strategically placed to provide short term seating areas along the path for users to have a moment of rest or brief conversation with fellow neighbors.
Ridge Lane’s south facing, sun kissed orientation and geological characteristics make it an ideal location for butterfly habitat, especially in their mating seasons. The presence of this habitat serves as the inspiration for the design which mimics the venation patterning found in butterfly wings called Voronoi. This design allows for a wide range of spatial flexibility while maintaining its design integrity throughout the five Parcels. The importance of the butterfly habitat is also greatly reflected in the plant palette which has been carefully created to support butterfly populations throughout the FIVE parcels. The increased population of these butterfly habitats will allow for educational opportunities for children and adults and brings a unique identity to Ridge Lane.
The rocky characteristic of the site is preserved by using floating wooden walkways where bedrock is exposed. This not only retains the site character but also reduces the cost for excavation and concrete construction.
This proposed design for Ridge Lane will serve as a safe and enjoyable neighborhood link for generations to come while also magnifying the quality of life for all of its inhabitants and visitors.
All sections have easterly views, southern sun exposure and are protected from direct ocean winds by Merced Heights. These characteristics make Ridge Lane a unique and valuable location for a butterfly mating habitat called hill topping.
The proposed Ridge Lane design utilizes materials such as concrete and FSC certified Redwood to provide a long lasting and durable design with low maintenance. The design will minimize the amount of excavation where bedrock is exposed by implementing floating wooded walkways and steps thus preserving the natural rocky characteristics of the site. Concrete and rock debris that will be excavated from the site will be repurposed by filling the gabion benches and retaining walls. This lessens the amount of waste to be removed as well as reducing the need for new materials to be brought to the site. A plant palette of native plants and well adapted nonnatives provides a combination of ecological value as well as year round seasonal beauty. All the species of plants are drought tolerant and have minimal maintenance needs. The planting has been carefully chosen to support populations and increase habitat for pollinators particularly butterflies who use the site for a mating ground. This design for ridge lane will also provide a more convenient and enjoyable path for the neighbors to access local public transportation hubs such as B.A.R.T