It was cold and wet and 100% worth it.
DAY ONE _ “WHO CAN FIND THE MOST PEOPLE WALKING THEIR DOGS”
Dogpatch is a sensational city that I severely underestimated when stalking it via google-earth the week before. I had deduced that Dogpatch was nothing more than a region inside San Francisco that was fairly underwhelming, outdated, and slightly sketch. However, as soon as we arrived I realized I was wrong. From the hilarious and colorful monster totems to the beautiful retrofitted art galleries, Dogpatch was clearly a wonderfully eclectic “maker” haven. This playful, free yet poised spirit of the city is something I wish to capture in my future designs.
DAY TWO _ “MIND+WIND BLOWN”
The architecture we experienced that day was just as impactful as, say, being blasted by 23 mph wind paired with heavy wind at 49° temperature. Going to mass at the Cathedral of Christ the Light was eye-opening and inspiring. This building taught me that you don’t need a complex, inconstructable shape to have a beautifully intricate and dynamic design. The East Asian Library was more of a library for connections than of books – any sort of connection between any type of material, it’s there. And not only was it there, it was displayed in the most subtle and tasteful ways, proving that incorporating detail into design is worth it. Both buildings played with light in ways I had never seen before, the former by concealing and revealing it with materiality and connections and the latter by displaying and distributing it as brightly and fluidly as possible.
DAY THREE _ “MOMA AND OTHER DRUGS”
This day was by far my favorite. The Ferry Building, besides providing a very yummy breakfast, was a great example of how architecture can capture the history of a site while still enhancing the present and addressing the community’s needs. Walking along (and getting lost in) the streets of downtown SF enveloped me in the city’s truly unique vivacity and love of the arts. But the MOMA stole the show – specifically, the MOMA’s stairs. Everything about Snohetta’s design captured a beautiful and simple harmony that I was entranced by, and those stairs were no doubt the most impactful stairs I’ve seen.
This trip was a perfect reminder of why I love studying architecture (however challenging it may be) and why it’s worth weathering the storm.