Hidden Room

San Francisco is one of the world’s great pedestrian cities. The presence of history imbues the city neighborhoods, creating a continual feeling of discovery. Time, events, and construction both hide and reveal histories. This installation seeks to capture an aspect of the past to challenge one’s perception of the city through a dynamic reflection layering past and present in a new space.

  • Type Public Art Installation
  • Location Mission Rock, San Francisco
  • Status Unbuilt
  • Date 2020-2023

The installation is set in Mission Rock. The history of this filled-in marshland, once home to indigenous populations, and more recently, heavy industry as the railway terminus for a working waterfront, was razed for a long-time parking lot that occupied the land for decades. The Southern Pacific Railroad was a significant presence at Mission Rock. Traces of the train remain legible throughout the Eastern Neighborhoods, where track routes can still be read in the shape of buildings, streets, and blocks.

Our design is organized around panels of two-way mirror etched with a photograph of a train track. The track appears to stretch along the ground, evoking the working history of Mission Rock. Mirrored frames around the track panels would capture and focus surrounding views. Passerbys would experience a dynamic kaleidoscope of expanded and impossible spaces. Seated inside the frame, the space expands again, revealing hidden spaces layered within the historical imagery.

Project Awards

Finalist for Mission Rock Rooms Competition

2023 AIASF Citation Award for Unbuilt Work

2023 San Francisco Design Week Award, Honorable Mention in Wildcard Category

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