San Francisco, CA


A Linear Greenbelt and Park System

The Summit Park is the first phase of a linear greenbelt and park system that will connect the historic Park Merced neighborhood to the Lake Merced Recreation Area. This unique site is bordered by cultural institutions and schools, and is near one of San Francisco’s most popular large urban reservoir parks.

The project includes four main spaces that are arrayed around a large open space. The spaces include a Central Plaza, an overlook, a bikeway, a children’s play area, and a large dogpark. The park design is inspired by rippling water, and is thus a series of concentric rings that radiate out from a single point, located ¼ Mile from park. There are no straight lines in the park pathways or spaces, the park is defined by a series of subtly curving walls, pathways, and tree allee’s. The project was commissioned by a housing development company and is privately maintained, by the new community that has been built adjacent to the Park.

Summit Park was designed to meet Bay Friendly Landscape Guidelines, with native plantings, drip irrigation, the use of recycled and upcycled materials, integrated pest management, and the use of reclaimed water. The park plantings include drifts of flowering California natives, such as Ceanothus and Archtostaphyllos. The greenway includes native grasses, and becomes a garden of movement. The tree planting includes Red Elms, Sycamores, and native pine trees. The site retaining walls are built from gabion basketry, and were filled with recycled concrete rubble, which was imported from other construction sites and constructed over an eight month period.  The site is irrigated by sub-surface reclaimed water. 

The Central Plaza was designed for Beniamino Bufano’s Peace Sculpture, which is widely considered to be his most significant work. Fletcher Studio worked with the San Francisco Arts Commission to site the sculpture, and to also include historic and interpretive signage. Bufano constructed the 34-foot-tall peace statue for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. As he worked on his sculpture, the real world boiled with the violence of the times. “I sculptured ‘Peace’ in the form of a projectile, to express the idea that if peace is to be preserved today it must be enforced peace---enforced by the democracies against Fascist barbarism. Modern warfare, which involves the bombing of women and children, has no counterpart in a peace interpreted by the conventional motif of olive branches and doves.”


Summit Park, San Francisco

Neighborhood: Park Merced