MARKET STREET 1920
Projectors wound, the houses packed. Trolleys and cars filled the street. Voices and laughter carried from every corner of Market.
It is 7:30pm
A flurry of steps rushed through the doors, quickly followed by darkness and utter silence. Suspense. At last, the curtains rose.
MARKET STREET 2014
Since its early cinema glory, Central Market has carried a sense of identity for the city of San Francisco. However, since the mid 1970s, the area lost its momentum due to the disruptions from the large subway construction. Today, it has lost its identity.
Foreclosures and empty leases are also reflected on the boarded facades. Those who pass through either to and from Civic Center and the Financial District reject the context. There is no proper infrastructure that would facilitate social gathering.
HOW TO BETTER MARKET?
MARKET [SCENES] strives to reset the stage back onto Market Street and create a new mental map of Central Market. As seen in a play, actors take part in each scene and tell a story –Market Street users pass through and create their own Market narratives at MARKET [SCENES] through shadows and movement. Since the area has had a reputation of being unsafe and abandoned, the shadows will help neutralize the scene and treat everyone as active participants.
The project harkens back to Market Street’s cinematic history in the form of dual digital projections. One projection is of the forgotten historic Market Street cinema district and another of the currently active San Francisco theaters. A simple light-weight fabric canvas/curtain, easily deployed on two existing light posts, veils the actors from the street scene and serves as the backdrop for historic Market Street scenes. The shadows of people passing reenact the 1920s cinematic stage. The site (between 6th and 7th Street) also offers a few boarded facades as projection surfaces for the showing of contemporary San Francisco theaters. These building projections expose and call to mind the neglect on Central Market.
The stage consists of module of 2’x2’ and varies in height, ranging from 8” to 24”. The stage allows for flexibility of use, and welcomes the user to rearrange and adjust to their liking – becoming actors of the stage.
MIDNIGHT ON MARKET
By day, MARKET [SCENE] becomes a living stage of street interactions. Onsite cameras snap and document these events as living proof that Central Market can still have a strong and engaging identity.
By night, along with the projections of past and contemporary San Francisco theaters, MARKET [SCENES] forms into a living theater where past, present, and future converge into one setting.
MARKET [SCENES] aims to engage the different types of users (the residents, the passerby, and local theater companies) under one common stage. Shadows serve as a neutral ground where everyone becomes active participants in the project. It provides the infrastructure and space needed for social interaction between the users.
We intend to hold workshops prior to opening to engage the users. Aside from the everyday users, we would reach out to local performers to help initiate the events. We also look to meet and engage in a conversation with local theater companies in the design as well as in the process of selecting scenes to project and help with bringing the theater culture back to Central Market. We’re open to the feedback and the prototype will be as much the outcome of the design team as from the workshop participants.
Golden Gate Theater
Central Market CBD
North of Market-Tenderloin CBD
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