Before my senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to participate in an internship at an advertising agency in southern Florida. It was an amazing privilege, but was also a very lonely time for me. Having no car, no license, and nobody else my age around, I spent most of my time with myself and my thoughts.
My mother came to visit one weekend and we drove down to Miami. I was excited to eat Cuban food with her, we are Puerto-Rican and the cuisines are similar; anything that resembled home was cherished. We pulled into this parking lot downtown and I was struck by maybe the most powerful déjá vu experience I've had to this day. We had parked in a lot on 1111 Lincoln Road. I had never been to this lot before, but remembered a vivid dream I had years prior that took place in this lot. However, the dream had happened a couple years before the lot itself, the only one of its kind in the world, was built.
I'd had issues with my mental health before, but they were heightened due to the nature of this trip. I'd fallen into a state of ambivalent monotony, and this experience in this lot was more than arresting. I don't know why it happened, and I don't fully understand it. However, I think there is something to be said about me, a moody teen from the west coast, and two Swiss architects, coming to the same conclusion for how a structure could look.
These are images on the fourth floor staircase of the Veterans Affairs Hospital parking lot in San Francisco's Outer Richmond. The structure resembles the style of brutalist architecture, a style popular in Europe during the 1950s. Though this was not the intention at the time, brutalist architecture ended up being used as settings for post-apocalyptic science-fiction films throughout the latter part of the 20th century.
This place reminds me of that lot in Miami, and how it felt discovering that place. I live near the VA; it's much easier for me to get here than that other lot. From the top floor, on clear days, I can see many of my points of interest: Point Reyes, Bolinas, Duxbury Reef, Mt. Tamalpais Air Force Base, and Black Sands Beach to name a few.