Home is a Four Letter Word
Our project proposes 6000 units in eight residential towers facing the waterfront along the Embarcadero, creating an urban edge to the city as well as attempting to recoup the housing stock extirpated by the closing of residential hotels and SRO’s in San Francisco. Americans have lived in residential hotels for over two hundred years. From the 19th century boarding house to the residential hotel, people have chosen to live communally. Residential hotels and particularly Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels are deeply rooted in San Francisco’s history, but have unfortunately suffered from the misrepresented idea that these were places of blight and crime, eventually leading to the pandemic demolition of thousands of units. The project takes advantage of the residual, often discarded triangular sites along the waterfront, three-quarters of which are currently used as parking lots.
Architectural Design: Reduction and Recombination
Inhabiting the stair of Le Corbusier’s Mill Owners Association becomes an exercise in the mediation between the inherent agoraphobic and claustrophobic conditions of its spaces. The stairs and ramps become points of unprotected exposure. The mass of the stair itself is carved away, creating inhabitable spaces precisely calibrated to their individual tasks. Ultimately, a suppression of the inherent binary of interiority and exteriority in the stair as a dwelling is achieved through the threshold. The monumental door and frame is a point of coalescence between the interior and exterior, creating a field of living conditions within a continuous gradient of spaces.
Visualization II: Minimal Surface Symmetry Operations
The infinite periodic minimal surface creates a complex network of interconnected spaces with an ambiguous distinction between interiority and exteriority. As an object navigates through the spaces, both the trace of the objects movement and its physical manifestation are documented.