Imagine Designing a 5.4 Acre Rooftop Park

Residents of the San Francisco Bay Area have long believed that a West Coast version of Grand Central Station is needed.


In fact, voters agreed back in 1999 that this new terminal in SF needed to be built to support buses from the East as well as trains from the Peninsula. Unfortunately, since its ribbon cutting in 2010, the budget for this project has evolved from $1.6 billion to 2.259 billion dollars today, borrowing money from the phase 2 project which was intended to incorporate the train system. Still, the terminal is well under way and was finally named Salesforce Transit Center this year in a $110 million, 25-year “sponsorship agreement”. The building stretches longer in length than the Salesforce Tower reaches tall.

From “The Transit Bay Transit Center — A Difficult Journey”


Among the elaborate plans for retail shops, food courts, gigantic skylights, and artistic outer shell, landscape and park enthusiasts are prepared to be impressed by the 5.4 acre rooftop park “conceived by Berkeley’s PWP Landscape Architecture.

PWP Landscape Architecture Rendering

This gigantic outdoor space will feature water moving with bus flow, 3 layers of soil “atop a Styrofoam-like material” to support “naturalistic topography”, a child-play area, and even bridges to neighboring towers.

Whether or not the 2nd phase (to incorporate southbound trains) is accomplished within the next decade, the rooftop park is sure to impact San Francisco’s identity.

San Franciscans have made so many memories on rooftops: in privately owned public spaces atop office buildings, at rooftop bars like Jones, at California’s Academy of Science’s “living roof”.

Not to mention, reading, yoga, tanning, and large gatherings all happen on private residential roof decks in the Marina and beyond. Finally, did you know 94,000 voters in California are registered Green as of February 2017?


There’s no denying: future buildings in this area are sprouting and you could be the next Landscape Architect to design it. Register for Spring 2018 classes at the Academy of Art’s School of Landscape Architecture.

Read more about “The Transit Bay Transit Center – A Difficult Journey” HERE (written by John King this past Friday, 9/15/17). The article displays some incredible maps and graphics to illustrate plans, timelines, and budgets like this one:

Transbay Center Finances (interactive map on original article site)