One Architecture + Urbanism

One Architecture + Urbanism

Amsterdam, NL and New York

Resilient by Design: San Francisco Bay Challenge with BIG & Sherwood.
Resilient by Design: San Francisco Bay Challenge with BIG & Sherwood.

Resilient by Design: San Francisco Bay Challenge

Between January and May 2018, BIG + ONE + SHERWOOD will design solutions for the area surrounding Islais Creek, a site vulnerable to the impacts of climate change with an activated and organized community. Reimagining Islais Creek, one of the most important locations in San Francisco for the long-term health and resilience of the City, provides an opportunity to strengthen ecological systems, current infrastructure, and the connectivity of the surrounding area.

BIG + ONE + SHERWOOD is eager to form partnerships with the people who call the area surrounding Islais Creek home. They envision a process of co-creation with activist groups and residents that links today’s concerns and community priorities to a plan for long-term resilience, affordability, decent jobs, and livability.


Islais Creek, which emerges into the Bay at the southern end of San Francisco and sits between a diverse set of communities, is an important center of food, logistics, and port operations for the City.


With the need for adaptation to a changing climate, highly engineered waterways-levees, dams, and concrete channels have failed and even accentuate the devastating effect of flooding, rather than control the water flow. Islais Creek is no different; flood risk is extreme. The area is encircled by heavy infrastructure and a large wastewater treatment plant. Public access to the waterfront has been improved but is still limited.


BIG + ONE + Sherwood aims to restore Islais Creek to its natural functioning. Acting as the interface and link between the sea and the tributary system, the creek represents an incredible opportunity to reimagine the intersection between industry and disaster preparedness. A small-scale intervention on Islais Creek could provide an influential framework for the Bay Area, due to its important connection within a wider ecosystem, linking mobility, ecology, and people.

RBD Bay Area - Islais Creek, SF

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: San Francisco, CA, US
Additional Credits: The BIG + ONE + SHERWOOD Team is co-led by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), One Architecture + Urbanism (ONE), and Sherwood Design Engineers (Sherwood). The team also includes leading experts from Moffat & Nichol, Nelson Nygaard, Strategic Economics, and The Dutra Group. Together, they bring international experience from Denmark, the Netherlands, and the Bay Area by designing innovative solutions for climate vulnerabilities.