Octavia Blvd - Street Cred - San Francisco, CA 2007 Exhibition Completed

STREET CRED San Francisco: Architecture and the Pedestrian Experience - SFAIA

In the last decade, a sum of efforts by developers, designers, planning officials, and activist groups has shifted the public perception of city streets--from utilitarian transportation corridors that need to exist apart from their surroundings, to beloved places that should and can be more physically integrated into the urban fabric. As a result, many of San Francisco’s new developments show signs of embracing, rather than denying, their position on the street.

STREET CRED features approximately fifteen of the city’s new and upcoming projects, and examines the strategies used by designers to encourage streetlife and enhance the pedestrian experience. The exhibition includes new buildings by Arquitectonica, envelopeA+D, and Morphosis; a fantastical “Streetscape of the Future” proposal by a group of local artists and designers; and video podcasts by Andrew Blum and Rebar.

A study in the potentials of density, we propose a building comprised of “minimum existence” living and/or working units. A compact unit size of approximately 400 sf is made more livable by the fact that amenities are built-in, including bed, kitchen, bath, storage space and embedded personal entertainment technologies. Yet, in a constricted unit, some typical functions of the home must be displaced to the street. Here, street level retail programs at the base of the building offer public-scaled versions of private amenities:

    “den” → movie theater + popcorn cart
    “powder room” → beauty salon
    “guest room” → micro-hotel
    “garden” → flower shop
    “breakfast nook” → diner + “library” newsstand
    “wine cellar” → wine shop + cheese case
    “garage” → bike storage + bike repair cart
    “dining room” → rental space
    “exercise room” → micro-gym + juice pod

The city itself becomes an extension of the habitable space of the unit increasing the vibrancy of neighborhood culture, while the diversity and complexity of the city is borrowed to supplement a contracted private realm.