The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) recently presented the IDEAS2 award to KOMPAN’s Helen Diller Civic Center Playground in the San Francisco City Hall area. This award recognizes projects that have used structural steel in exciting and innovative ways. The Helen Diller Playground won in the category of Sculpture/Installation/non-Building Structure.
The Helen Diller Playground was designed in collaboration between the KOMPAN Design Studio and the Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture firm. Inspiration for the playground was drawn from cloud formations and San Francisco’s unique weather patterns. The major structures named ‘Fog Valley’, ‘Lenticular Cloud’, and ‘Sky Punch’ bring the story of the community into the play structure. The community now has an original playground that is tailored to their needs unlike any that the world has ever seen.
Knowing that environmental and other factors would be inevitable challenges, the playground was designed and constructed to be incredibly durable and resist vandalism. Combining architectural expression and research-based expertise on play, KOMPAN created a structure for one of the most densely populated areas of San Francisco that will serve as a landmark that stands the test of time.
The Helen Diller Playground is part of a plan put into place by the Trust for Public Land to improve the lives of urban dwellers by bringing parks and natural spaces within a reasonable distance for all. The Helen Diller Playground is within a 10-minute walk for over 36,000 people. The positive impact this project will have on the community will be seen on thousands of kids’ smiling faces.
Phil Ginsburg, the General Manager of San Francisco Recreation & Park, said the Helen Diller Playground is the “most audacious and transformative playground project in our city’s modern history.”
Sponsored by AISC, the Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel (IDEAS2) award program recognizes projects that illustrate the exciting possibilities of building with structural steel. The IDEAS2 awards showcase the innovative use of structural steel in:
- the accomplishment of the structure’s program
- the expression of architectural intent
- the application of innovative design approaches to the structural system leveraging productivity-enhancing construction methods
The most successful projects are designed and built by teams, not by individuals. In active support of the trend toward collaboration and coordination during all stages of a project’s completion, AISC has merged its architectural and structural engineering award programs into a single program designed to showcase excellence and innovation in the use of structural steel in a single project.