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San Francisco Prize: Octavia Boulevard Housing Design Competition

Multi-unit Residential
Market & Octavia, San Francisco, California



Social Context:

Because of the very well known lack of opportunities for family living in San Francisco, and as a parent who is currently trying to find a place to raise a family in the City, we decided to design all of the units in a family friendly way to help bring families back into the city.  This design approach led to units that have generous living areas, washer and dryer for all units, outdoor terraces, park/play areas on two roof gardens, and an internal system of inter-unit circulation that allows children to explore in a secure environment.  Special attention was placed on the 3 bedroom 2 bath unit on the corner of Market and Octavia.  With three bedrooms, informal and formal dining, an outdoor play area as well as a terrace and plentiful storage, this unit was designed specifically to make San Francisco family living desirable. 

To support a diverse population in the development, in addition to the seven 3 bedroom / 2 bath units, there are thirteen 2 bedroom / 2 bath units, and eight 1 bedroom / 1 bath units for a total of 28 homes.

Special attention was also placed on creating a unique identity for each living space by using the architecture to articulate each unit seperately yet still harmonize with the develpment as a whole.  To increase interior daylight and to shade from excess heat gain, exterior shade/light shelf elements are used to achieve this differentiating role as well as helping to reduce the operating costs of the building.  Concrete construction is used to create excellent thermal mass for more gradual temperature changes and for optimal acoustic isolation between units.

Urban Context:

To extend the idea of the alleyway into our project, we have created pedestrian alleys that serve as the entry nodes into the residences by connecting directly to vertical circulation cores, and open out to the sidewalk with generous entry awnings.  These alleys let light and ventilation into the main circulation of the development system and help differentiate the various housing units of the project. 

We have focused retail at both the Market and Haight corners to serve the neighborhood.  What we depict as a restaurant on the corner of Market and Octavia, the architectural focus of our design, is a great location to sit and enjoy urban living at the gateway to the Octavia neighborhood.

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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