Celebrating San Francisco’s unique built environment and design community, Architecture and the City is the first festival of its kind in the Bay Area. The month-long celebration features behind the scenes tours, walking tours, films, exhibitions, lectures and more, providing opportunities for participants to engage with the local architecture community and experience design in a myriad of ways throughout the city.
Created in 2003, Architecture and the City has now grown into the nation’s largest architecture festival, showcasing San Francisco’s diverse architectural talent and presenting a forum to promote new ideas for innovative design and development in the city. Whether festival participants are looking to become involved with the local architecture and design community or simply want to learn more about the city in which they live, Architecture and the City offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience San Francisco.
The 2012 festival theme, Design: It’s About Time, will encourage attendees to consider both the notion of permanence and the enduring power of design in the built environment, and to explore the layers of history that have shaped San Francisco. While pop-up stores and rotating storefront galleries may be due, in part, to the economic times, the adaptive reuse of older buildings and public spaces has redefined the way we live and work. (Golden Gate Bridge image credit: Emil Flock.)
On August 30, the Architecture and the City festival Opening Night Party kicks off at the San Francisco Design Center, with a salute to the many individuals, organizations, cultural institutions and nonprofits that help make the festival possible. This special evening also features our 2012 Small Firms, Great Projects exhibition, highlighting the work of small Bay Area firms.
San Francisco Living: Home Tours weekend (9/15-16)
This popular weekend showcases modernism at its finest and features a wide variety of architectural styles, neighborhoods and distinctive San Francisco residences, all from the architect’s point of view. Tour goers have the exclusive opportunity to meet design teams and discover the innovative design solutions inherent in San Francisco living.
Participants can explore historic and contemporary architectural landscapes with local architects on festival behind the scenes tours. Programs will include:
- A Boor Bridges Architecture-led walk-through of Southern Pacific Brewing, a 10,000 sq ft machinery warehouse converted into a modern restaurant, bar and brewery in the Mission.
- A look at the new Heath Ceramicsfactory and showroom with owners Catherine Bailey and Robin Petravic, who will give visitors the inside story on one of San Francisco’s most anticipated spaces.
- A hard hat tour of Market Square, offering an early look at the street level retail concept of the historic 1937 Art Deco building at 9th and Market.
- A boat tour of the Golden Gate and Bay bridges, led by Donald MacDonald Architects, Heller Manus and DOT, will provide a scenic overview of the process of designing a signature bridge.
Festival walking tours are an excellent way to see San Francisco in a new light. This year, tours will lead groups to the farthest reaches of the city, with tours including:
- A visit to Lands End with EHDD Architecture.
- A tour of the International Orange exhibition at Fort Point with the For-Site Foundation.
- A tour of San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood (with Lisa Gelfand of Gelfand Partners), with firsthand views of affordable single room occupancy hotels and the recently completed adaptive re-use of the historic Central YMCA.The Architecture and the City festival has been bringing architects, designers and the general public together to celebrate San Francisco’s rich architecture and design community since 2003. Presented in collaboration with organizations who contribute to our city’s creative vitality, this year’s Architecture and the City features over 40 events and is sure to include something inspiring for everyone.