True modernity, particularly in an urban setting, does not mean ignoring context. Sensing the tapestry of history which surrounds this site adjacent to AT&T Park in the city’s South End Historic District, we created a contemporary building by distilling aspects of the nearby historic warehouses, and re-presenting them in a modern idiom. The richness of the resulting composition reflects and reinforces the vibrant mix of this exciting new-old neighborhood. Sustainability and the imperative of providing a healthy environment are woven throughout this tapestry. Roof drainage irrigates a rear yard infiltration planter, providing a glimpse of nature for residents and at the same time, cleaning the water before it is introduced into the city’s sewage system. South-facing balconies provide access to light and air while filtering out direct sunlight to the interiors. Cleverly integrated rooftop-mounted heat pumps provide efficient heating and cooling. By successfully and sensitively responding to multiple factors—historic context, neighborhood vitality and environmental sustainability—this building demonstrates how well-designed architecture can enhance and enrich the 21st century urban experience.
Image Credits: Tim Griffith Photographer and Gould Evans