Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
1180 Fourth Street in San Francisco, California by Mithun
April 13th, 2016 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: The American Institute of Architects (AIA)
The project houses 150 low income, very low income and formerly homeless families and individuals, currently including 261 children. As with other affordable housing in San Francisco, the tenants were selected by lottery from a long list of qualified applicants. Given the acute housing needs most of these people have experienced, particularly the homeless, the project sponsors, city officials, funders, and architects have endeavored to provide for a spectrum of user needs. Moreover, the intention has been to create an environment to forge bonds of community and companionship within the project, to make it a welcome, integral part of the neighborhood, and, by the prominence of the site and the excellence of its architecture, to serve as a symbol of the city’s robust efforts to address the ever-growing need for affordable and supportive housing.
The building’s shared spaces are designed to bring residents together in ways both casual and intentional. Residents meet each other, wait for rides, get their mail, say hello to property management staff, and play together after school in the generous, day-lit lobby and garden courtyards. From the courtyards, they catch a glimpse of activities in the common room – meetings, educational programs, and birthday parties. A landscaped stair from the central court leads to the upper level common spaces, including an exercise room, community garden play space, and family daycare. The spectacular views out over downtown, Mission Creek Park and the ballpark confirms residents’ place in the neighborhood and the city. All these spaces are generous enough to allow residents from different income levels and backgrounds to meet each other comfortably and make friends. It is these social ties that will allow the most vulnerable to support each other, and bounce back.