intertidal manifold : black abalone habitat + office

Refugio San Francisco surmises that in 50 years many of California’s native species will be without habitat, due to global warming. This project proposes San Francisco as a refuge for those species. 

Cisterns embedded in the intersections of San Francisco’s city streets are a potential infrastructure to adapt as habitat. 169 salt water cisterns serve as part of an auxillary fire prevention system. In Refugio San Francisco, each cistern is daylighted and then calibrated to the temperature, elevation, and level of salinity needed for a specific aquatic habitat.

Black Abalone are native to the California coast, from Mendocino to Baja. These univalve Gastropod Mollusks populate the intertidal zone (0-3 meters) and are threatened by rising ocean temperatures. 

Embarcadero Center sits on three cisterns in downtown San Francisco. Four existing towers are replaced with an intertidal manifold that combines water-based abalone refuge, air-based office space, mediated by a harvesting area. There are specific requirements of the life cycle stages of the abalone—related to behavior, size, water temperature, light, and water movement. These four lifecycle stages determine the spatial deformations and conditions of the intertidal habitat. 


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