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Shifting Sands: Lands End Lookout Visitor Center

Articles: Shifting Sands: Lands End Lookout Visitor Center

Sitting exposed on the bluffs above the old Sutro baths, Lands End Lookout offers a sheltered view of the wild and rugged shoreline. Photo: Marion Brenner

Surface Design Inc. (SDI), a San Francisco-based landscape architecture and urban design firm, led the revitalization of the grounds surrounding the new visitor’s center. The result is an intimate portal into a native landscape restoration process within a wild and sometimes tumultuous environment. Easily accessible from the city, right on a bus line, and within walking distance of a good cocktail--the result is a perch from which to watch Nature unfold.

Lorene Edwards Forkner: What would you like us to learn about balancing Nature and a built environment?

James Lord, SDI: SDI wanted the design to subtly reflect the forces of the coastline but with a level of sophistication and usability that enhances the urban environment. Fierce winds and often extremely foggy conditions sometimes make the site unwelcoming. We wanted to build upon that energy rather than compete with it.  Designed spaces needed to work with nature instead of against it. Strategicall...

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