International Waterfronts Panel: Marseille Vieux Port, France + The Exploratorium, San Francisco (1 LU)

AIASF International Practice Committee featured event with support of Urban Design + Infrastructure Committee as part of an AIASF multi-committee program on waterfronts:
International Waterfronts Panel Presentation featuring Marseille Vieux Port, France, and The Exploratorium, San Francisco

The events in this series are exclusively available online courses during CoViD-19 pandemic until the reopening of the AIASF facilities. Please register at link below to gain access to the Zoom Panel Discussion with Q&A session at end.

This International Architect Panel presentation is the third in a series of Waterfront Design events featured by the AIASF International Practice Committee.

Foster’s Ben Dobbin will present their Marseille’s Vieux Port project in France, alongside EHDD’s Quyen Luong and Lynne Riesselman presenting their The Exploratorium project in San Francisco for a conversation on best practices around design and delivery of large-scale waterfront developments with Q&A to follow.

This session offers an exchange of ideas around very complex and multi-phased project typologies. We present this at a time when reduced Port activity, underutilized land and sea-level rise present unique development opportunities and challenges for Francisco’s waterfront. San Francisco’s is one of the world’s most well-known and storied global waterfront cities. It faces significant challenges though now in protecting historic assets, improving resilience, activating and improving access along its diverse waterfront edge. International cities can offer lessons learned through their successful waterfront planning, design and development. This event aims to feature holistic project lessons to the AIA community in San Francisco through featuring multidisciplinary teams from relevant waterfront projects.

Presentations from international practices on global waterfront projects of quality offer lessons for current challenges faced on the City of San Francisco’s waterfront.

Bronze Level Sponsor: EHDD

AIASF and the International Practice Committee thank EHDD for their generous support of this session.


Learning Objectives

After attending this program, participants will be able to:

    1. Understand the cultural and historic significance of the port as a center of urban significance
    2. Understand the complex drivers and influences that are involved in master planning an existing working site and many stakeholders
    3. See how art and interactive landscapes can be used as a catalyst for urban regeneration projects
    4. Understand the process of refining a conceptual idea through to built completion
    5. Discuss the way in which designers can influence and improve the conditions of the urban environment and the natural marine environment too
    6. Explore alternative design strategies that prioritize the educational and social benefits of public connection to the waterfront
    7. Identify opportunities for strengthening urban resilience through ecological regeneration
    8. Investigate how to leverage cultural and scientific input to produce a highly integrated design


Featured Projects

Marseille Vieux Port, France
Presenters: Ben Dobbin
Masterplan/Architecture: Foster
Client: Marseille Provence Metropole
Collaborating Architect: Michel Desvigne, Tangram Architects

Marseille’s Vieux Port is one of the grand Mediterranean ports, but over time the World Heritage-listed site became inaccessible to pedestrians and cut off from the life of the city. The masterplan for its regeneration reclaims the quaysides as a civic space, creating new informal venues for performances and events and removing traffic to create a safe, semi-pedestrianized public realm.

The Exploratorium, San Francisco
Presenter: Quyen Luong and Lynne Riesselman
Architecture/Interior Designer: EHDD
Client: The Exploratorium

The new Exploratorium at Pier 15 draws city life to a previously dormant stretch of the San Francisco’s historic Embarcadero waterfront. Through rehabilitation of the original pier building and the re-imagination of the surrounding apron, the project leverages its connection to San Francisco Bay, creating a public platform for observation, connection and learning.


Coming up next in this series:

      • Online Panel: Canadian Waterfront Project Presentation, August 2020
      • Online Panel: Waterfront project presentation, September 2020
      • AIASF Waterfronts Symposium, Date TBD

Led by the AIASF International Practice Committee and supported by the Urban Design + Infrastructure Committee and their guests, addressing local application of the preceding events.

For more information about the Committees and their events:



July 31, 2020


10:00 am - 11:30 am


$5 - $10




Online Event


  • Ben Dobbin
    Ben Dobbin
    Senior Partner, Foster

    Ben studied Architecture at Edinburgh University, and joined Foster + Partners in 2001, initially working on 30 St Mary Axe. He has been involved in many masterplan projects and design projects that has provided him with a broad experience. In 2008 he completed Vivaldi Towers in Amsterdam. From 2009-2018, Ben was focused on the design of the Apple Park project, moving to California to follow its completion. Ben leads the Foster + Partners office in San Francisco and is engaged on many projects in the US.

  • Lynne Riesselman, AIA
    Lynne Riesselman, AIA
    Associate Principal, EHDD

    Over the last 14 years, Lynne Riesselman has brought a rigorous yet creative design ethic to museums and cultural centers, aquariums, higher education and commercial projects. With recent work including the Marine Science Institute of Redwood City, Alcatraz Embarkation, and Pacific Seas Aquarium at Point Defiance Zoo, she is keenly focused on creating spaces that engage, inspire, and have a lasting impact on the greater public. Riesselman approaches design with a passion for leveraging the interconnectedness of the natural and built environment.

  • Pedro Ressano Garcia
    Pedro Ressano Garcia

    Pedro Ressano Garcia has lived and worked in various waterfront cities – Rio de Janeiro, Porto, Barcelona, San Francisco, and is currently based in Lisbon where he shares his time between research, teaching and architecture practice.

    Garcia started teaching at University of California at Berkeley in 1996. He currently teaches in Université Laval, Quebec, Canada. He lectures in International Seminars, Workshops and Conferences, and publishes regularly with prestigious editors. He coordinates a European-funded project on waterfront cities’ adaptation to climate change since 2019.

    He is the author of the book Tagus Platform – Back to the River, Lisbon’s waterfront and the 21st Century, and editor of six books produced by the European Workshops on Waterfront Urban Design. He has been awarded several grants from prestigious institutions, such as the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and in 2010 he received the Pancho Guedes Architecture Award.

    In his office in Lisbon, Ressano Garcia Arquitectos, theory and practice are combined in projects of architecture, urban design and in the development of studies and ideas that give value to each cultural reality. This work has been published extensively in books, magazines and international events. In 2018, the office received the Merit Award in the Hsinta Ecological Power Plant International Competition, Taiwan.

  • Quyen Luong, AIA
    Quyen Luong, AIA
    Associate Principal, EHDD

    Quyen brings curiosity and sensitivity to complex design, working on projects that range from aquariums to multi-use housing, schools, and libraries. She approaches design with the intent of transforming the everyday into the unexpected, translating concepts into places that embody an institution’s core mission. Recent projects include the Pacific Visions expansion at the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Acuario Mazatlan in Mexico, and the National Aquarium of New Zealand. She worked internationally in Paris and received her Master of Architecture from Rice University.


AIA San Francisco
(415) 874-2620

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