2022 Urban Design Commendation
Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground serves as the only space dedicated to active outdoor recreation in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Guided by the community’s aspirations, the design team merged building and landscape to create a multi-level, indoor-outdoor community hub that celebrates Chinatown’s resilience and culture.
The jury praised this project for transforming the neighborhood and providing necessary new and safe public space for the interaction of families and children. Great effort was taken to create welcoming and meaningful community hub with a strong connection to the rich history of Chinatown, considering the community and catering to multi-generational use. The project is an extraordinary response to its complicated existing context that integrates well with the hilly urban site and separates its uses appropriately while also connecting them through a cohesive design.
The project makes a high-density neighborhood more livable and maximizes the qualities of the location to create multiple levels and various porous moments that connect well to each other and the surroundings at multiple levels and sides. It weaves itself into the city with its storefront and open-edges, becoming part of the Chinatown fabric, and that of the larger cityscape. The design is highly though-out and well-developed design, resulting in a space that is completely transformed with joyful and clean interventions that are community based. It is a lovely mix of landscape and parkscape with new architecture that feels like infrastructure; fragments of the city become a playground, a generous urban room that is delightful for kids and dignified for all community members.
Urban Design Consulting Engineers
Pivot Structural Engineering
McGinnis Chen Associates, Inc.
Top Flight Specs
Bruce Damonte Photography
Julie Chang Studios