Julia Morgan Memorial

We were chartered with transforming the back garden of a turn-of-the-century house along The Presidio wall designed by beloved Bay Area architect Julia Morgan. The garden itself, as we found it, was the antithesis of her philosophy of creating harmonic relationships between interior and exterior and blurring the two elements.

To create this space, we drew from Morgan’s own design legacy and the First Bay Area tradition of architecture. We also found inspiration in the Ohlone Indians organic traditions of building, which created communal space within the land itself.

We took into account thermal regulation within the 9-foot-deep space, as well as acoustics. Upon completion, the space allowed people to enter one at a time and experience nature in an extraordinary way; entrants were able to experience natural layers of earth, flora and sky from an embedded space within the ground, literally expanding the individual’s relationship to the earth by placing them within it.

Year: 2015
Location: Pacific Heights, San Francisco, CA
Square Footage: 1,800
Typology: Memorial / Land Art