At International Waterfronts Symposium, Page & Turnbull Offered Long View

March 03, 2021
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The recently concluded global symposium - organized by San Francisco architects - brought together designers and experts and explored how to reinvent and restore waterfronts. 

What? 

The 2021 International Waterfront Symposium.

When?

February 18 and 19, 2021.

Who were the speakers?

One of the main speakers was architect Elisa Hernandez Skaggs of Page & Turnbull, who continuously offers a historical lens to help guide the reinvention and innovation transforming varied coastline developments.

Other speakers on the regional scene for the AIASF symposium included developer Tishman Speyer’s Sarah Phillip Dennis, urban analytics firm Place Intelligence’s CEO Norion Ubechel, and the Port of San Francisco’s deputy director of planning and environment, Diane Oshima. On Thursday, February 18th, urban design critic John King of The San Francisco Chronicle moderated a discussion of international waterfront cities.

What was the focus of the symposium? 


Focused on San Francisco as a case study of the global coastal city with miles of active shoreline, the assembled experts confronted daunting challenges in protecting its historic assets, improving resilience, and activating a diverse waterfront edge.

One of San Francisco's lauded approaches has been preserving historic piers and buildings that set San Francisco apart, using rigorous reviews and incentives while clearing regulatory hurdles including the strict Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Examples of related projects include Pier 70 and the adaptive reuse of Building 101, according to Skaggs, an AIA member and associate principal of Page & Turnbull who has helped lead numerous port projects.

Why was the symposium important?

The American Institute of Architects believes that the symposium came “at a time when reduced port activity, underutilized land and sea-level rise present unique development opportunities and challenges to San Francisco’s waterfronts."

Architect Elisa Hernandez Skaggs also shares that the symposium offered "an opportunity to better understand waterfront opportunities through the maze of economic, social and environmental requirements in San Francisco and beyond." She adds, "It demands an ongoing understanding of historical context and past use to creatively negotiate for uniqueness of place."

About Page and Turnbull

Page & Turnbull is an architecture and planning firm that transforms the built environment through design, research and technology. Located in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento, the firm comprises three Studios: Architecture, Cultural Resources Planning & Research, and Preservation Technology. Collectively, Page & Turnbull’s staff includes licensed architects, designers, historians, planners and conservators with a mission to balance historic character with adaptive reuse, objective historic evaluation with community involvement, and complex design solutions with technical understanding of historic materials and their conservation. More at www.page-turnbull.com.

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