China Basin Park

San Francisco, CA

China Basin Park is a 5-acre waterfront park in San Francisco, CA, designed by SCAPE for Mission Rock Partners (Tishman Speyer, the San Francisco Giants, and the Port of San Francisco). Bound by 3rd Street, McCovey Cove, the Bay, and the planned Mission Rock neighborhood, China Basin Park will become a regional destination, but is a neighborhood park at its core. The team’s aspiration is to create a new cultural and recreational centerpiece, build on the excitement of the Mission Rock development, and foreground the living, pulsing ecological system of the San Francisco Bay. The park promises to condense the energy of the urban destinations surrounding it while offering unfettered access to the water’s edge, showcasing the area’s distinct history and ecology.

Once open water, the project area is built entirely on fill from the 1906 earthquake, which in turn sits atop Bay silt. Adjacent to the site, McCovey Cove was named after Willie McCovey, a beloved Hall of Famer and legendary first baseman for the Giants. The team’s stadium lies just across the cove. During games, kayakers race to fish out home runs from the water as they come flying over the right field wall, dubbed “Splash Hits.” Lefty O’Doul Bridge connects crowds between Mission Rock and the stadium on game day.

While firmly rooted in the personality of Bay Area neighborhoods and anchored by an open generous recreational lawn, China Basin Park also provides a new, future-ready intertidal landscape and beach. Tidal shelves are carved into the park and “give back” to nature while enhancing a biodiverse and shifting intertidal landscape. Running through the site is a crucial link in the Bay Trail – a 500-mile regional trail connecting 47 cities – which unites the overall design. The softened park edge contrasts to the area’s bulkheads and hard coastal infrastructure, bringing a more textured natural experience in reach of the city’s growing population.

The park’s topography shapes diverse urban landscape spaces and views, including a Great Lawn with expansive views of the Bay Bridge; a series of Tidal Shelves and a Shell Hash Beach with an adjacent cove access ramp; a Central Plaza with a restaurant pavilion designed by local architects Min Design; a Lifted Grove lit by catenary lights and designed for flexible programming and cultural events.