Albany Tidal Garden

Debris from the Albany Bulb’s history as a construction landfill peeks through the Bay, creating this peninsular landform. This site attracted me because it is tricky—it reveals itself in low tide and then sinks back into the Bay during high tide. It is also a popular site for local fishers as it offers a unique viewpoint from the Bay Bridge to the Marin Headlands.

With these qualities in mind, my design activates 3 primary activities:

  • walking, sitting, and viewing the Bay;
  • recreational fishing; and
  • a site for eelgrass restoration

While it is seemingly paradoxical to activate both recreational fishing and eelgrass bed restoration, I believe a healthy reciprocity between human activity and the shore is possible. By encouraging non-destructive fishing practices, providing resources for monofilament recycling, and designing a marine landscape that encourages a diverse assemblage of native species, we can protect our shorezone and recreate sustainably.

Using the site’s original geometry and topographic contours, I designed descending steps to imply different levels of participation with the bay. The design gives folks specific points of access to the water and sequesters areas reserved for intertidal marine life. This separation is reinforced by cordgrass and pickleweed. Below the concrete surface, underwater eelgrass plantings promote a living system.