Meraki Market Parklet

Park Today, Gone Tomorrow

Craft and materials inspire a temporary park with staying power.

That’s Meraki

Meraki is a Greek word for pouring your soul into whatever you are doing—and for this purveyor of fine foods in San Francisco, the act is the ritual of eating well every day. The market’s new parklet also recalls the spirit of meraki: Jensen’s passion for solving design problems thoughtfully and poetically produced a welcoming place for the community that roots the market in the neighborhood.

The Bricklet

The neighborhood’s historic brick buildings provided the design inspiration for the parklet, and Jensen’s collaborators helped figure out how to break it down into manageable components. The finely tuned spacing of the brick gives this traditional material a modern air. The brick pattern also conceals stabilizing rebar and fits neatly into steel frames. All the pieces were fabricated in a shop and assembled on site.

An Exercise in Contradictions

Parklets are temporary structures that must be robust enough to withstand the elements yet easy to remove. And despite their parking-space-sized footprint, as public space they are subject to many regulations. In plan, the parklet zigzags around a utilities manhole, but the shape makes for cozier seating areas. Thanks to precision craft, the parklet meets the grade of the sidewalk for seamless access, while the angled base follows the street’s gentle slope.

A San Francisco Feat

Parklets are such a common urban feature these days that we forget they are a San Francisco invention. The world’s first parklet appeared on a November morning in 2005, when design and art collaborative Rebar transformed a SOMA parking space into a park, feeding coins into the meter for a day. Since then, businesses and communities throughout the world have made the streets a little more about people rather than cars, one parking space at a time.

Type
Retail
Client
Meraki Market
Location
San Francisco

Architects

Project Leads
Mark Jensen
Melissa DeLacy

Contractor

Johnstone McAuliffe Construction

Photographer

Cesar Rubio