1234 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA
The 50-by-165 foot site stretches from Howard Street on one side to Natoma Street on the other. A one-way drive, with parking on one side and lobby and circulation on the other, links the streets. Above the drive a court is carved through the block, dividing the width of the building into three equal bars. The central bar remains empty; those on either side are again divided, into two halves. The east bar contains two-bedroom units; the west bar, which also accommodates the elevator and stairs, one-bedroom units. Floating service walls create a sense of spaciousness and indeterminacy. Bridges cross the central court, giving access from the east bar to the west bar. In a loft-saturated housing environment, this complex offers an alternative, providing more privacy to accommodate family living. Unlike typical urban housing, these units have abundant light from windows along the length of the court.