Battery East Vista, one of the last remaining unimproved elements of the Presidio Bay Trail, has been transformed into an active theatrical overlook to the Golden Gate Bridge. In close collaboration with the Parks Conservancy and National Park Service, MSLA created an elegant and elemental design for the historic military site. The challenge was to preserve the open character of the landscape and reveal the beauty of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, while creating a place to accommodate thousands of daily visitors arriving by foot, bicycle and car. By reconfiguring the trail to align with the historic “covered way” that linked the earthen batteries, the circulation and relationship between the overlook and trail was greatly improved, while simultaneously recalling the history of the site. A pervious concrete plaza with terraced seating welcomes visitors to experience contemplative or active recreation at various elevations onsite. Interpretative signage and instructive scopes highlight park connections to surrounding historic military fortifications, offering ample opportunities for outdoor exploration and learning.
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