Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Richardson Apartments in San Francisco, California by David Baker Architects
October 15th, 2015 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: David Baker Architects
Formerly a parking lot on the southeast corner of Fulton and Gough streets, the Drs. Julian + Raye Richardson Affordable Apartments has risen on one of the sites freed for development by the demolition of the collapsed Central Freeway. This five-story building will provide permanent supportive housing for a very-low-income, formerly homeless population.
The project is part of the Market + Octavia Neighborhood Plan, which aims to create a dense transit-oriented neighborhood with housing over retail and streets that are friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists.
The residents’ entrance on Fulton Street features a spacious lobby with a reception station. Beyond the lobby, the south-facing courtyard frames an expansive existing mural—a paint-and-glass mosaic of dancers on the side of the Performing Arts garage. Four levels of fully equipped studio apartments sit atop common spaces surround the private landscaped courtyard.
An open grand staircase connecting the first through fifth floor levels reduces reliance on the elevator and encourages interaction between residents. Beyond the lobby, the south-facing courtyard frames an expansive existing mural—a paint-and-glass mosaic of dancers on the side of the Performing Arts garage. Four levels of fully equipped studio apartments sit atop neighborhood-serving retail and surround the private landscaped courtyard.
The project is being designed and built with the guidance of the Build It Green GreenPoint Rated and Green Communities checklists, with sustainable features such as a purifying bioswale in the court, sunshades, and possibly solar electric and domestic-hot-water panels. In keeping with the intention of a dense, transit-oriented neighborhood, there is no on-site car parking, and bike parking facilities are provided.
The building responds to the existing fabric of the neighborhood by varying the colors, materials and heights on its façade to suggest a collection of more modest related structures. A prominent corner bay rising over the retail entryway at Fulton and Gough contributes to the dramatic view down the length of the building that culminates with City Hall in the near distance.
A tall retail level with an awning trellis that extends over the sidewalk helps maintain a human scale at the street edge. One retail space is dedicated to a work-training program for residents. Other supportive services and features include a counseling center and a residents’ lounge, as well as a prominent community room. Additionally there is dedicated on-site medical suite reserved for resident care.
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