Design at America’s Cup Theme Park

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We’re totally smitten with the design at America’s Cup Park, the makeshift fairground for the eponymous sailing event at Piers 27/29 in San Francisco. Yep, we understand the politics (which meant re-confirming what Boondoggle actually means). But we’ve seen little written about the actual Park and its successful design. We think it’s the cat’s pajamas: bold graphics and smart, temporary architecture do it for us every time.

The entire area is a giant ad space posing as provisional urban village. But what great ads! For you highbrow types, you can examine consumer engagement at the intersection of museum space, art installation, retail mall and theme park. For everyone else: it’s fun! The Park is brought to life via repurposed shipping containers, planters + AstroTurf, giant video screens + projections, interactive exhibits, participatory retail displays and the world’s largest “pop-up” bar. It also features a 9000-seat stadium set to host War (as in “All…my…friends…know the Low Rider”) as the opening act for Cheech & Chong! Take that nautical WASPs!

Our otherwise worldly staff knew very little about the actual race (for a timely primer, look here). After multiple visits to the exhibits, we now think the boats are amazing; a genuine spectacle. But it’s the study in temporary architecture and ad-hoc theme park design that really captivated us. That, and the $11.50 beers. The festive atmosphere — and promotional nature — of the Park echoes the popular world fairs and expositions that once flourished in San Francisco. We encourage you to check it out before it’s gone in October 2013. Until then, enjoy the first of our snappy virtual tours below — sans purse and backpack inspection. We’ll focus on the many eateries + bars at America’s Cup Park in our next post.

We’re fans of the immersive, interactive Flying on Water exhibit — which seamlessly transitions you into retail space:

Love the yellow Simpson skin:

Control + B graphics dominate:

Park hours are: 10:00am to 7:00pm on race days, and 12:00pm to 7:00pm non-race days. It will remain open to correspond with America’s Cup events through September 2013. Craving a good old-fashioned hotline? You got one: 415-412-4642.

Catch us on the flippity-flip when we explore bar + eatery designs at the Park!

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