May. 20, 2014

Photoshop IRL

Lot K’s history as a parking lot has had a lasting legacy, especially in the minds of people desperate for parking during peak hours in Hayes Valley. When envelope A+D got the keys to the site in 2010, the lot transitioned from a public pay lot to supporting car share companies Zipcar and local favorite City Car Share. Though more in line with our urbanist ideals, even a car sharing lot made a large portion of PROXY unwelcoming and unsafe to pedestrians and cyclists and not nearly unwelcoming enough for unwanted renegade parked cars.

We made plans to transition out of the parking game altogether, but the white lines indicating the parking spaces of the past often proved too tempting for those in search of a quick place to park while they ran an errand or two. Finally, collaborating with Basic Training to build their free community fitness hub became the impetus to stop talking about the car problem and do something about it. envelope A+D worked with Basic Training and Matt Hulme of Biergarten, a graphic designer, to create a ground graphic that would not only erase the physical markings of the former parking lot, but also support fitness and play, like agility drills and what will certainly be a number of innovative iterations of the playground classic tag. The final version of the pixelated graphic is below.

The black as black asphalt was poured over PROXY yesterday, and it looks almost too black to be real. Though the midnight good looks will be a temporary condition in our windy and dusty corner of The City, it was quite a sight to behold, especially with the imposing steel beams rising out of the ground along Hayes Street.