100,000 Houses for San Francisco

Urban Strategy


Site Plan

Unit Plans

Typical Plan

Ground, Typical, Mezzanine Plans



Unit Plan Arrangements

Block Plan


Block Plan

Program Brief: 100,000 Houses for San Francisco
Date: Spring 2017
Instructor: Pier Vittorio Aureli

The site strategy of this proposal is to break down the scale of the large, vacant and underutilized sites along 16th Street while retaining their capacity to provide large spaces. On a smaller scale, this proposal is drawing from the history of the residential hotel/SRO type, which had a consistent condition was an abrupt distinction between the individual cell and the public realm. This project attempts to use this model but with the introduction of interstitial layers on the spectrum from individual space to the public life of the city.

The specific spaces—storage, restroom, fixtures—are centrally packed along with a small stair up to a loft space for sleeping. The resulting strand of specific space allows for flexible space to each side. The compact specific space allows for a generosity of height in the flanking spaces. The back side can be easily closed for private space. The front side connect units; through section, the units are clearly articulated but the plan remains open allowing for a myriad of possibilities. Vertical circulation occurs in the band of specific space. At these moments, open air bridges connect to the building opposite, creating large communal spaces and defining courts to be shared by both buildings adding two additional layers of shared space.

The project as a whole operates as a co-operative, so that each user buys a share in the project rather than an individual space. The inhabitant is imagined to be one of changing needs over time. The design of these units, which creates individual specific space bracketed by flexible space, allows for an undetermined number to operate collectively. By relegating certain domestic activities to the ground floor, cooking, laundry, daycare, etc., the design avoids the problem of number dependent arrangements. The efficient dimensions of the individual unit and the adaptability of the space address the two strongest barriers to ownership: the high price of the baseline investment and the uncertainty of future need.