SF Public Works PRESS RELEASE - Winner Selected for Redesign of SF’s JCDecaux Public Toilets and Service Kiosks

For immediate release: June 11, 2018

Contact: Rachel Gordon, 415-554-6045 

Winner Selected for Redesign of San Francisco’s JCDecaux Public Toilets and Public Service Kiosks

San Francisco, CA – Public Works, in partnership with the JCDecaux street furniture company, has chosen the SmithGroupJJR architectural firm as the winner of an invitation-only competition to redesign San Francisco’s on-street public toilets and multi-function kiosks.

“SmithGroupJJR’s design is forward-thinking, combining natural elements and environmental sustainability with modern technology and materials. This 21st-century street furniture reflects our San Francisco values, as we invest in a public realm designed with dignity, inclusivity and beauty,” said Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru.  

With three strong conceptual design proposals from local firms SmithGroupJJR, Min Design and Branch Creative making the final cut, Public Works solicited community input on this once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine and upgrade the public toilets and public service kiosks. 

More than 200 individual responses were received through an online survey and in person when the proposed conceptual designs were on display in April at the Main Library in Civic Center and the Heart of the City Farmers Market at UN Plaza. The vast majority of responses prioritized the SmithGroupJJR proposal, describing the look as “clean, safe and inviting,” “iconic and unique,” “sculptural,’’ “classic” and one that “wraps fluid beauty around function.”

The public input helped inform the final decision of the design competition jury members, who included City staff from Public Works, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Historic Preservation Commission and the Port of San Francisco, and the following outside experts: Yakuh Askew, Y.A. Studio; Laura Crescimano, SiteLab Urban Studio; Joshua Aidlin, Aidlin Darling Design; Jon McNeal, Snøhetta; Maryam Rostami, TEF Design; and Nataly Gattegno, Future Cities Lab. 

SmithGroupJJR design principal Bill Katz summed up his team’s vision, noting, “The design blends sculpture with technology in a way that conceptually and literally reflects San Francisco’s unique neighborhoods. Together, the varied kiosks and public toilets will tell a sustainability story through water re-use and native landscapes.”  

The design of the new toilets and multi-function kiosks complements the contemporary and elegant designs of the soon-to-be completed BART portals on Market Street and the café kiosk at Civic Center Plaza at Larkin and Grove Streets. 

During the next few months, JCDecaux’s engineers will work closely with the project team from SmithGroupJJR to develop and refine the proposed design to meet operational needs and accessibility. The attached drawing is the preliminary concept, which will transform and develop through this process. As the toilets and kiosks are intended to be used for the next 20 years, they need to be not only timeless in their design but detailed, fabricated and maintained to withstand a generation of public use. 

“We are excited to be working collaboratively with both San Francisco Public Works and the project team from SmithGroupJJR,” said J. Francois Nion, chief operating officer of JCDecaux San Francisco. “We are confident that this innovative design process will lead to developing a new generation of street amenities that will better serve San Franciscans and visitors alike.”

Once the construction documents are close to completion – most likely mid-summer – the project will be presented at the San Francisco Arts Commission and Historic Preservation Commission hearings for consideration.

Since 1995, San Francisco has benefited from a collaboration with JCDecaux in providing 25 accessible public toilets and 114 kiosks. These compact structures are spread throughout the City, though concentrated along Market Street, downtown and in popular tourist destinations. Like its predecessors now on San Francisco streets, the new model will be self-cleaning, accessible to people with disabilities and connected directly to City sewer, water and electrical lines. 

JCDecaux will cover the cost of the construction, installation and daily maintenance. The company also will fund staffing of the toilets at select locations under the City’s successful Pit Stop program. The advertising displayed on the public service kiosks, which in some locations will house such micro-retail establishments as newspaper stands and coffee vendors, also can display public messaging from City agencies about upcoming events, ongoing programs and other topical issues. The kiosks will offset JCDecaux’s costs for the toilets and the operating costs for the program. 

After putting the new public toilet contract out to bid, Public Works entered into exclusive contract negotiations with JCDecaux last year. The Board of Supervisors is expected to consider the proposed agreement in September. The current contract expires in October 2018.

About San Francisco Public Works (http://www.sfpublicworks.org):

The 24/7 City agency cleans and resurfaces streets; plants and nurtures City-maintained street trees; designs, constructs and maintains City-owned facilities; inspects streets and sidewalks; builds curb ramps; eradicates graffiti; partners with neighborhoods; trains people for jobs; greens the right of way; and educates our communities. 

About SmithGroupJJR (www.smithgroupjjr.com): 

The company is one of the world’s preeminent integrated design firms. Working across a network of 12 offices in the U.S. and China, a team of 1,300 experts is committed to excellence in strategy, design and delivery. The firm’s San Francisco office has been in operation since 1927, helping to influence the City’s design aesthetic, including four recent building projects in Mission Bay. The new JCDecaux toilet and kiosk design is an opportunity to build on the firm’s deep understanding of San Francisco’s rich history and progressive future across the urban landscape.

About JCDecaux (www.jcdecaux.com): JCDecaux, the number one outdoor advertising company worldwide, is present in more than 80 countries and 4,033 cities. For more than 50 years, JCDecaux products and services have been the benchmark in urban innovation, quality, aesthetics and functionality. A longstanding member of the San Francisco community, JCDecaux has operated street furniture programs at the service of the City since 1994.