House of Air: San Francisco’s Trampoline Park in Historic Airplane Hangar

Posted by Staff on Saturday, August 20th, 2011

House of Air, San Francisco by Mark Horton Architecture

Trampolines never seem to get old. I can tell you, based on the number of birthday parties I’ve been to at San Francisco’s House of Air over the last year (for my adult friends, not the kids), that bouncing on a trampoline has certainly not lost its thrill. House of Air, however, is much more than a backyard trampoline. Located in a historic biplane hangar in the city’s Presidio district, the massive trampoline park has multiple bounce sections to accommodate different age groups and jumping styles.

House of Air was designed by the San Francisco-based Mark Horton/Architecture (MH/A). Although the design firm was founded in 1987, they like to consider themselves a continuously “emerging” firm and tackle projects of “unusual scope and constrained budget.” For this project, MH/A’s focus was the redesign of the interior, while maintaining the exterior’s historic presence in San Francisco’s former military base. The corrugated steel façade is austere, but through the massive glass hangar door, one catches a glimpse of excitement.

The interior is divided into three sections: the trampoline park, bathroom facilities, and a House of Snacks. The walls were constructed using blue Polygal, a certified green polycarbonate sheet, and embedded with florescent light tubes. They look a bit like an abstract night sky and create an appropriate atmosphere for the soaring bouncers. The Polygol walls also create a thematic connection between the old and new uses of the structure; the sky-like atmosphere is a nod to the opens skies traveled by the biplanes once stored in the hangar.

Dodgeball in the Colesseum at House of Air, San Franisco

Dodgeball in the Colesseum

When it comes to bouncing, there are plenty of options available to House of Air patrons. The main trampoline field, the Matrix, is comprised of 42 trampolines. The Matrix is larger than a basketball court and includes trampoline walls so “flyers,” as they are called, can let loose without worrying about sailing right off the structure. Those who have experience with skateboard parks will want to check out the 2X Bowl. Modeled after a skateboard park, the 2X Bowl includes two three-sided bowls that allow flyers to bring their freestyle moves to the trampoline park. The Colosseum can be fun or terrifying, depending on your schoolyard memories; this  22-trampoline pit is dedicated to dodgeball. While dodgeball may’ve been the bane of your high school gym class days, playing on a trampoline adds a new level of challenge and fun – though it still hurts when you catch a ball on the nose. There’s also a bounce house for three to six-year-olds, who probably wouldn’t fare well amongst the soaring bodies many times their size.

The Matrix at House of Air, San Francisco

The Matrix

If you’re seriously into any sport that requires flying in one form or another, the House of Air features a training ground that can be booked by appointment or for group classes. Classes offered help athletes such as gymnasts, skiers, wakeboarders, and kiteboarders improve aerial awareness and ability.

When your bounce session is over you’ll most likely be drenched in sweat, so House of Air has provided showers for patrons. Just as likely, you’ll probably have worked up an appetite. This being San Francisco, where food is not taken lightly, House of Air offers culinary treats from DeLessio Market and the Bay Area’s hippest coffee, Blue Bottle.

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