Yerba Buena Gardens Esplanade

The Yerba Buena Gardens Esplanade is a major public open space adjacent to San Francisco’s downtown shopping area and the Financial District.  The Esplanade is a multi-use park and provides an outdoor gathering place central to the Convention Center, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Performing Arts Center, the Center for the Arts, the Sony Metreon Cineplex and the Yerba Buena Gardens Children’s Center. 

The park is built at street level over the convention center’s subterranian meeting halls below and rises two stories at the south to the top of the roof of the meeting halls’ entrance lobby.  A large waterfall mediates between the levels and provides visual and audio play to the stairs and ramps connecting the levels. 

The top level contains cafes with outdoor seating, tiered gardens displaying flowers-of the world, a panoramic view of the city, and a pedestrian bridge crossing over the street to the Children's Center.  The open space at street level provides vast areas of lawn, a butterfly garden, a performance arena, board game seating and direct access to the art center, the theater and the movie complex.

LDA Architects was the local architectural firm working with MGA Partners from Philadelphia. Two major pieces of the esplanade were under LDA's charge--the Entrance Pavilion along the northern edge and the Howard Street Pedestrian Bridge to the Children's Center at the southern edge.

LOCATION: San Francisco, CA


CLIENT: San Francisco Redevelopment Agency