We’ve celebrated the work of acclaimed San Francisco-based Architect David Baker throughout the years, and we were pleasantly surprised to find yet another of his residential projects in this year’s AIA Homes Tours. This time around we got to see what happens when David Baker’s colorful design ethics get scaled up to an affordable community development of 124 townhouses and 116 senior homes, aka the LEED Gold Armstrong Place and Armstrong Senior Housing in Hunters Point. Read on for an exclusive first look!
Located along the highly anticipated Third Street Light Rail in San Francisco’s Bayview District, the project is part of a larger transit-oriented development that will set the precedent for future community living spaces.
Traditional African textiles and Ghanian Dutch wax resist fabrics were studied as inspiration for the color palette, and to represent the historically African-American neighborhood. The ‘quilt wall’ appears to wrap the public face of the building with interlocking color patterns, while the interior, private faces of the project show more subdued, earthy tones inspired by the Malian mudcloth.
Large, vegetated courtyards within the project are protected from heavier traffic along the streets and act as both a place of refuge for the community and a means of filtering rainwater from the surrounding hardscapes. Large playful Ashanti symbols were cut to form in plywood and cast into concrete walls surrounding the rain court.
The residences sit atop street-facing commercial space, which will house shops, senior services, a library, and a community center. Retail spaces have been designed to accommodate bicycle commuting, and feature dedicated showers and changing areas. Parking was significantly reduced from the standard design load for a project of this size by providing car-share pods and conducting realistic studies of auto-ownership for the population in Hunter’s Point. This, in combination with the extended public transportation line, and added value of extra retail space, makes for a thriving a pedestrian-friendly community. We look forward to future community development plans along San Francisco’s Third Street Corridor.
All photos by Mike Chino, © Inhabitat