PROJECTunion square
CLIENTCity of San Francisco, Union Square Association
SCOPEUrban Design & Landscape Architecture
LOCATIONSan Francisco, CA
STAGECompleted
BIOREGIONMediterranean: Central California Coast

For the design of San Francisco’s Union Square, April Philips Design Works, Inc. joined forces with MD Fotheringham to form Philips/Fotheringham Partnership. The design celebrates San Francisco while embracing a central evolutionary design concept—a formal and programmatic open space solution organized on a set of bi-symmetrical cross-axes and stepped terraces. A grand central terrace, focused on the iconic Dewey Memorial, is framed by retail uses and a permanent stage. The central terrace is utilized daily for events, art shows, and even a holiday ice rink. Existing slopes of the garage roof were redesigned to create a level center with terraced edges of stairs, architecture and plantings. Ground plane design elements extend into bordering streets, expanding the presence of the Square to adjacent storefronts. The paving scheme recalls the site’s natural heritage.