AIA San Francisco Logo

International Waterfronts Panel: Marseille Vieux Port, France + The Exploratorium, San Francisco

See all International Waterfronts courses:

Learn holistic project lessons from multidisciplinary teams of major waterfront redevelopments filtered through the lens of San Francisco's storied waterfront and its current challenges.


This International Architect Panel presentation is the third in a series of Waterfront Design events featured by the AIASF International Practice Committee.

Foster’s Ben Dobbin presents their Marseille’s Vieux Port project in France, alongside EHDD’s Quyen Luong and Lynne Riesselman presenting their The Exploratorium project in San Francisco for a conversation on best practices around design and delivery of large-scale waterfront developments.

This session offers an exchange of ideas around very complex and multi-phased project typologies. This session is presented at a time when reduced Port activity, underutilized land and sea-level rise present unique development opportunities and challenges for Francisco’s waterfront. San Francisco’s is one of the world’s most well-known and storied global waterfront cities. It faces significant challenges though now in protecting historic assets, improving resilience, activating and improving access along its diverse waterfront edge. International cities can offer lessons learned through their successful waterfront planning, design and development. This event features holistic project lessons to the AIA community in San Francisco by featuring multidisciplinary teams from relevant waterfront projects.Presentations from international practices on global waterfront projects of quality offer lessons for current challenges faced on the City of San Francisco’s waterfront.

Learning objectives

  • Learn the value in understanding and embodying existing site conditions as foundational to design transformations.
  • Understand the role that designers can play in shaping a vision that acknowledges unknown futures while also setting in motion opportunity for continued transformations driven by population changes, economic values, and climate impacts.
  • Learn how to work with a diverse group of stakeholders to build consensus around complex values and diverse social, economic, and environmental interests.
  • Understand how engaging and responding to complex cultural and historic influences can help ensure collective ownership in the places we design.


Featured Projects

Marseille Vieux Port, France

Presenter: BEN DOBBIN


Marseille’s Vieux Port is one of the grand Mediterranean ports, but over time the World Heritage-listed site became inaccessible to pedestrians and cut off from the life of the city. The masterplan for its regeneration reclaims the quaysides as a civic space, creating new informal venues for performances and events and removing traffic to create a safe, semi-pedestrianized public realm.


The Exploratorium, San Francisco


Architecture/Interior Designer: EHDD | Client: THE EXPLORATORIUM

The new Exploratorium at Pier 15 draws city life to a previously dormant stretch of the San Francisco’s historic Embarcadero waterfront. Through rehabilitation of the original pier building and the re-imagination of the surrounding apron, the project leverages its connection to San Francisco Bay, creating a public platform for observation, connection and learning.

User rating:
No votes yet
 $40  non-member
 $25  member
1.00 LU