On a formerly empty lot where, long ago, stood San Francisco’s original Mission Dolores, this multi-family infill building reinterprets San Francisco’s fine-grain urbanism as a sequence of figural urban spaces leading from street to court through transparent multi-level townhomes to midblock gardens and patios. The site is located at the T intersection of two smaller streets where it terminates a block-long vista and commands views up to the towers of Mission Dolores and Twin Peaks beyond.
The driving design constraints are the sensitivities of the converted historic Union Hall that shares the same parcel, and the shared-access driveway that leads to parking beneath it. The solution co-opts this in-between space as a common entry promenade and court, while the building extends out and over with a broad cantilever emerging as an exuberant bay window in duet with its older neighbor.
Internally, the building breaks into two volumes with a garden entry court in between. A walkway connects the two volumes: a four-story townhouse in front and two two-story units stacked on top of each other in back. All three homes have complex sections that respond to their situation: the Street House with its double height volumes and planted terraces in the front; the Garden house spilling out to the rear yard; and the Sky House above with its procession up to a broad deck with views across the city.
Project Team Architecture and Interiors: Kennerly Architecture & Planning Contractor: Van der Sterre Construction Landscape: Reynolds-Sebastiani Structural Engineer: Strandberg Engineering