Fisherman’s WharfFisherman’s Wharf
© Douglas A. Salin
© Douglas A. Salin
© Douglas A. Salin
© Douglas A. Salin

Fisherman’s Wharf Exterior Renovation

San Francisco, California

At night San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf used to be dark and foreboding but Auerbach Glasow worked with architects to transform the area into a comfortable around-the-clock environment for tourists and a workable zone for fishermen.

The firm began with a lighting master plan to ensure coordinated lighting efforts as part of the Port of San Francisco’s upgrades and long-range planning for the area. A comprehensive site survey and report clarified the level to which the lighting had deteriorated over the years, allowing development of a wide-ranging approach through historical research, meetings with trade and neighborhood associations, coordination with Port of San Francisco staff and examination of state-of-the-art lighting technology for use in future installations.

The first phase of construction implemented the master plan in the inner and outer lagoons; home to the historic Fisherman’s Wharf fishing fleet. Special care was taken to ensure a balance between the working wharf and tourist attraction elements. Photographs at the San Francisco Maritime Museum inspired designs reflecting the earliest electric lighting on the wharf in pedestrian zones. These fixtures, outfitted with leading edge ceramic metal halide technology, greatly improved light levels and color rendering. The lagoons, illuminated with custom optic area lighting luminaires on tall poles, did the work of lighting the fishing boats with extremely low glare cutoff luminaires, reducing light pollution and glare.

Illuminated background pier buildings created a design tying the whole lagoon environment together in a thoughtful composition of light and structures.

Client: Port of San Francisco
Architect: Arcus Architecture
Completion: 1997