SOM

SOM

July 2009

BayArc: A Tidal Responsive Barrier


Over the course of the 21st century, U.S. coastal cities will face an increased threat of flooding from high tides and storm surges, all amplified by rising sea levels. In the San Francisco Bay Area, over 500 miles of shoreline are vulnerable to these risks. SOM has developed an elegant solution that can protect this vast area of land by focusing on a span less than two miles wide — the Golden Gate. The BayArc, a minimal, lightweight, and environmentally sensitive system, utilizes a tensile membrane to curtail high water peaks when deployed, protecting cities along the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries.