Affordable Housing in San Francisco
This project aims to create new affordable housing in Downtown San Francisco with jobs for its tenants to help with SDG #1 and #10. Housing in San Francisco is expensive, leading many to live on the streets. As of March 2020, San Francisco is home to over 8,000 homeless people. Tent camps have been set up throughout the city. Police have started to remove the tents pushing people experiencing homelessness out of the city. Without a job, many are unable to buy or rent a place to live creating a vicious cycle. Having affordable housing could help many of these people stay in the city where there are jobs. The building is designed to create jobs for the tenants in the retail spaces and as cleaners the apartments. The multi purpose room is available for weekly group meetings, including substance abuse, mental health and life guidance.
Phase One – Predesign
The users of the upstairs living space would be low-income families or homeless people. The users for the second floor would be all the supporting officers for the building, preschool teachers/day care workers, and all the tenants for the supportive offices, the lounge, multi-purpose room and for the day care center. For the downstairs shops, anyone from the neighborhood could come there to get a coffee and the upstairs tenants would be able to get a job there. This building will provide housing for people who are living alone or families. They can be any age to qualify for this permanent supportive housing.
The users of the area are mostly people that either live or work in the area. This would mean that the shops that would be helpful would be places where people can eat on their lunch breaks or get coffee in the morning. This area would also benefit if there was a starbucks since many people go there and know the place.
The housing upstairs has different size apartments ranging from studios to 3 bedrooms, so families are also able to benefit from the services. Each apartment has at least one bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom. On the roof, there is a community garden which will allow all the tenants to create a community and make friends in the building.
San Francisco is prone to earthquakes so this building would have to be up to code for earthquakes. The city has also already spent a lot of money on the homelessness issue so the project would have to be cost-effective, so important to think about the materials being used. The building could additionally be eco-friendly. There could be solar panels on the roof, collection of rainwater and energy saving lights.
I chose the corner of 3rd and Harrison Street in downtown San Francisco. It is currently a vacant parking lot, so I thought it would be perfect for this project. There are many offices and job opportunities nearby which would also be beneficial for the tenants.
Site Location and Analysis
- Existing Conditions – There is currently a parking lot on the site that I chose to have my project built. There is also a parking lot on the other corner of the block, so the removal of this parking lot won’t impact the community too much.
- Circulation – There is a bus stop right on the corner of this building that can take you outbound or inbound as well as a bus that goes to Marin. For tenants that have cars there is a freeway nearby which goes both north and south. The bus and freeway both help with the circulation of the tenants through the city.
- Sensory – This area is a perfect place for a building like this because there are other communities nearby that can benefit from having another community. There is a community garden nearby which could help connect the tenants in the apartment building with another community across the street.
- Potential – This site has a lot of potential since there is not an existing building. There are some constraints on how tall the building can be because of the location but this isn’t a problem for this project.
Phase Two – Brainstorming and Schematics
- Health center on site
- Community spaces for social services
- Lounge space to bring the community together – as residential as possible
- Courtyard with outdoor spaces
- Make it not look too much like a mental institution – making floors look different
- Durable surfaces and materials
- Complete Unit with privacy
- Interior of units – simple so tenants can customize it
- What to avoid
- Not having services in the building
- Carpet – hard to clean
- Studio Apartments – about 300 sqft
- 2 bedrooms – about 700 sqft
- 3 bedrooms – 900+ sqft + 2 baths
- Look at other floor plans to get an idea for how apartments are designed
- Retail spaces (First floor)
- Multi-Purpose room for tenant meetings – kitchen + storage (2nd floor)
- Lounge – area for tenants to engage with each others – play cards + read books + play board games (2nd floor)
- Offices – career guidance + other (2nd floor)
- Laundry Rooms (2nd floor)
- Area for child day care (2nd floor)
- 2-3 bedrooms
- Living room
- 1-2 bathrooms
- Rooftop garden/deck – community space
Phase Three – Final Design
Three Dimensional Model
Sketchup Design – Walk Through