Richard Johnson Design

powell street project


Flow ? to circulate without resistance.

When one walks under the Powell Street Underpass it is difficult not to think about flow. It is a crossroads where thousands of people pass overhead daily. On the ground, hundreds converge on the weekends to shop at the wildly successful Powell Street Plaza and Ikea Store. They stream steadily in and out of the parking areas and move throughout the areas arterial maze of streets and alleys whose surfaces themselves hide vascular systems of water, wastewater, power and communications. All are designed to deliver services to the dwellers of the city in a seamless, unimpeded flow. At a more visceral and immediate level, one is aware of the steady movement of an invisible traffic overhead whose speed and volume is revealed by the steady cadence of tires converging with roadway expansion joints. It is an ethereal sound ? the pulse of a giant organism of iron and rubber whose daily migration to and from our centers is like the Bay water?s tidal flow. It is not invincible like the tides: its? flow can be arrested by unpredictable impediments whose consequences can echo in complex patterns throughout the Bay Area and beyond ? but when the flow is steady, it is like the sweet forces of nature ? flow without resistance.


10,000 sqft

ENTITY: Person 13 id: 13 last_modified: Wed Dec 07 18:38:35 UTC 2011 description: null name: Rick Johnson date_created: Wed Dec 07 18:38:35 UTC 2011 creator: {User:1}

ENTITY: Person 6 id: 6 last_modified: Wed Sep 09 06:44:15 UTC 2009 description: null name: peter richards date_created: Wed Sep 09 06:44:15 UTC 2009 creator: {User:1}

emeryville, ca