The aim of this $4-million visitor enhancement project to commemorate the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th anniversary was to make significant improvements to the world-famous tourist site.

Photo by Barbara Bourne
Photo by Barbara Bourne

The project had six elements, all within a 50,000-sq-ft area east of the bridge's San Francisco toll plaza. Scope included the new Bridge Pavilion, a 3,500-sq-ft pre-engineered green building kit that included standardized structural elements, a cool membrane roof, insulated wall panels and high-performance, super-insulating glass units with suspended film technology.

The new building was designed to complement the existing structures and was painted in the bridge's signature international orange.

The project also included upgrading the 74-year-old Art Deco Round House structurally, seismically and aesthetically; renovating the Bridge Café; reconfiguring and updating two outdoor plazas; and building a piece of the Presidio's trail system. The construction team also cleaned up contaminated soil; installed underground utilities; set 50,000 pavers; and built retaining walls.

The team faced three challenges: logistical complexities caused by a high-traffic area at a popular tourist spot; a compressed schedule with an immovable deadline set by Memorial Day festivities planned at the location; and the many government agencies and private entities involved.

Golden Gate Bridge Improvement Project

San Francisco

Key Players

Owner: Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, San Francisco

Contractor: Fisher Development, San Francisco

Lead Design: Jensen Architects, San Francisco

Structural Engineer: Tipping Mar, Berkeley

Civil Engineer: Oberkamper & Assoc., Novato

MEP: Allied Heating & Air Conditioning, San Rafael

Plumbing Engineer: Incom Mechanical, Petaluma

Electrical Engineer: Corish Electric, San Francisco

Demolition: Ghilotti Bros., San Rafael

Glazing: Commercial Glass & Aluminum, Pittsburg

Steel Installation: Ahlborn Structural Steel, Santa Rosa

Submitted by Fisher Development Inc.