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1180 Fourth Street affordable housing in San Francisco designed by Kennerly Architecture & Planning in collaboration with Mithun|Solomon

Project name:
1180 Fourth Street
Architecture firm:
Associate Design Architect: Kennerly Architecture & Planning. Executive Architect: Mithun/Solomon (originated WRT/Solomon E.T.C.). Associate Architect: Full Circle Architecture
San Francisco, California, USA
Bruce Damonte
Principal architect:
Design team:
Owen Kennerly, Brian Stryzek
Built area:
216,000 f²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Interior design:
Developer: Mercy Housing California; Acoustical Engineer: Mei Wu Associates; Waterproofing Consultant: Gale Associates
Civil engineer:
Urban Design Consulting Engineers
Structural engineer:
Tipping Mar and Associates, and Bello & Associates
Environmental & MEP:
Ajmani & Pamidi Inc.
GLS Landscape Architecture
Horton Lees Brodgen Lighting Design
James E. Roberts-Obayashi Corp.
Tools used:
Concrete, Glass, Steel
Residential › Apartment

Kennerly Architecture & Planning: The project marks the corner of Fourth and Channel Streets as a gateway to San Francisco’s burgeoning new Mission Bay south neighborhood. It houses 150 low income, and formerly homeless individuals and families, currently including 261 children.  It brings diversity of age, race, and income to this booming new district. Restaurant and retail space totaling 10,000-square-feet anchor the Fourth Street retail spine of the new neighborhood.


The 216,000-square-foot project occupies a full city block with the mid-block developed as a multi-level courtyard serving a rich program of tenant services, daycare, community gardens and common spaces.  A large community room with kitchen is prominent on Channel Street, serving the larger community as well as the project.  Common amenities – including exercise and study rooms, urban farming plots and sociable laundry facilities, barbecues and play fields – emphasize fitness, nutrition, education, and community life, and are transformative in the lives of many tenants.  Corridors and lobbies are flooded with daylight and capture dramatic city views.  Indoors and out there are multiple routes, and nooks and overlooks for children and parents to explore and enjoy.


The Mission Bay neighborhood has frequently been criticized as socially homogenous and physically bland, lacking the charm and complexity of the rest of the city.  The project responds to this criticism with architectural zest in the different character of its very different street environments, and with transparency from the streets into the richly designed world within.







































By Liliana Alvarez

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