Frederick Gibson + Associates Architecture
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Temple of Triumph

Non-denominational Temple
Treasure Island, San Francisco, California


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The Site

The site encompasses an area of 2 acres off Treasure Island Road on Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco. The island is easily reached via automobile on Interstate 80 24 hours a day without toll. Currently, the site is owned by the Department of the Navy but is undergoing conversion to private use. The view from this site is spectacular - a panorama stretching from the San Francisco span of the Bay Bridge, over the Skyline of San Francisco, to the Golden Gate bridge at the mouth of the Bay. The view at night is truly inspirational.

Alternative sites include other cliff-sites around the San Francisco Bay with a view of the City, and cliff sites along the New Jersey Palisades with a view of Manhattan. (North of the George Washington Bridge or near Cliffside Park in New Jersey).

The Temple

It started with a Man. Cantilevered from a cliff over a restless ocean, waves crashing against the rocks below, protected only by transparent sheets of glass and steel in tension -- he looks out at the greatness of a city. He feels the greatness within himself and the freedom of his spirit. He has conquered his fear through the power of reason. His is the laughter of triumph, of courage, of liberation. The Temple draws its inspiration from the laughter of Howard Roark. The Temple's structural system is inspired by Santiago Calatrava's Sevilla Bridge.

The Temple is organized in three levels. The progression begins with spatial intimacy and protection at the top entry level by surrounding the visitor with massive structure and the solidity of the cliff. At each level transition one is led back toward the cliff by a flight of stairs. In descending the stairs. the scale becomes intimate and secure. This scale modulation enhances the temple space and sculpture when one turns around, and dramatizes the view of the city. This spatial intimacy is then transformed to one of spatial release as the visitor walks through the Temple. The structure and protection recede away to leave the visitor alone with nature and the city at the final climax of the Temple; a place where fear and gravity are conquered through reason and purpose.

Due to the necessity of hiring a structural engineer and contractor, the cost estimate has not been provided in this proposal. I am confident, however, that the Temple can be executed in a very cost-effective way through the use of simple yet durable detailing with concrete and steel cables as the primary materials. If the San Francisco site is chosen, the temple will no longer be enclosed because of the mild climate, further reducing the construction costs.

The Shrine

Bronze Sculpture: I Am By Michael Wilkinson

(Artist's Statement) The Man stands at the point, elevated, rising up from the fires of creativity. He leans out over space, defying gravity - feeling not fear, but the gravity of his own power to achieve, as the city fills his vision - the city created by the hand, the reason, the mind of man.

Inspired by the sight before him, his arms raised in victory and celebration - one hand extended forward in a gesture of both reaching and offering. The other hand, palm up, calling upon all humanity to rise. He embraces his own vision of the future and exults in his laughter of triumph and deliverance.

Poetry

By Alexandra York

(To be inscribed in the triangle of glass directly beneath the sculpture)

I am

That I am

My body a temple my soul enshrines
My reason the light of my mind - divine
Celebration is mine
Hear the clarion chime

Let my laughter rise
Like bells to the skies

Here on earth where I stand
Over all I command
By my will and my hand
I am glad that I am

I am

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
1995-2010 by Frederick Gibson + Associates Architecture, San Francisco, California
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