Best Affordable Senior Housing Design of 2022: Mission Accomplished in Historic San Francisco Neighborhood

Snuggled into a tight great deal future to 1 of San Francisco’s historic passageways is an inexpensive senior housing neighborhood using just about every inch of place

But regardless of its compact footprint, the local community — called Casa de la Mision — is environmentally economical and pays homage to the prosperous history that surrounds it.

That is exemplified in the way the property’s designers with HKIT Architects worked to incorporate it into the cloth of the city’s historic Mission District. For instance, the neighborhood pays homage to nearby thoroughfare Balmy Alley and its renowned murals, in accordance to HKIT Principal Paul McElwee.

Courtesy HKIT Architects

“The making that was there previously experienced murals on it,” he told Senior Housing Information.

HKIT, along with collaborators Y.A. Studio and Roberts-Obayashi Corp., integrated some of the murals previously on the making even though introducing some new types to the mosaic.

On the inside of the group, 45 models of economical senior housing are operated by Mercy Housing CA, the nation’s largest nonprofit inexpensive housing developer.

The journey from principle to completion experienced its honest share of worries — such as a “Tetris-like” city building procedure. But in the endCasa de la Mision triumphed and gained the best spot in the most new Senior Housing Information Architecture and Structure Awards’ Best Cost-effective Senior Housing class.

The Notion

The internet site the place the very affordable senior housing group stands nowadays has been home to a range of purposes. Mercy Housing to start with bought the site in 2019 with the intention of making a great deal-necessary cost-effective housing for older grown ups.

The task group, which included HKIT Architects, ran into some early troubles with the place — specifically a restricted footprint to do the job within just. A further preliminary challenge was obtaining the purchase-in of the nearby community, which was skeptical of new development in the location.

“The neighbors have been quite immediate with us in stating they did not want a different loft produced of all glass and steel,” McElwee mentioned. “Folks in the Mission are really activated by that, specified the background in the previous couple a long time,” he reported, referring to the increase of superior-stop luxurious housing and retail in the space even with the neighborhood’s operating-class roots.

The design workforce to start with tackled that challenge by figuring out how to get that quite a few models into the web site while also accommodating house for help workplaces, community place and a smaller retail aspect out entrance.

“It was a tall order,” McElwee stated.

As a consequence, Casa de la Mision was made in an L-form for a footprint just above 28,000 sq. feet.

It was vital to the project’s designers that the neighborhood fork out homage to the Mission District, both equally its standing as a historic community and its more modern-day standing for being a hub for artwork, buying and dining.

The web-site is positioned in the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District of San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood, and the undertaking planners sought to mirror that in the style and design with motifs which include motifs motivated by Mexican paper lower-outs. The style also involves shimmering tiles lining the building’s foundation.

The team also built the making with things like standard San Francisco bay home windows seen in the legendary architecture of houses in the area. Some of the windows have sunshades to control temperature and provide citizens with an factor of privateness on the aspect of the setting up that faces the main thoroughfare.

“Some of the imagery and iconographic decisions we produced in the creating have been drawn from the Mission – not so much a historic recreation, but what is in the Mission now,” McElwee mentioned. 

The Design

At somewhat a lot more than a person-tenth of an acre, the land parcel on which Casa de la Misión is crafted is modest. And even though the compact footprint produced limited design parameters for the team, it created an even bigger problem for creating the local community.

“It was a real Tetris-like exercise striving to in shape all of these points into a compact footprint,” McElwee said. “There was barely a spot to stage.”

And the age and compact suit of the plot manufactured developing an exercising in city preparing mainly because when the contractors broke floor, they observed “a ton of pipes and factors that appear off the aged residences that weren’t on report and they crossed the home line,” McElwee explained.

In addition to the limited footprint, the current developing was lined in graffiti, which had to be cleaned up.

“The building bought accomplished and then it bought completely tagged all around the floor like you have under no circumstances viewed ahead of,” McElwee explained. “That was just one more 7 days of cleaning.”

Courtesy HKIT Architects

Graffiti wasn’t the only challenge, McElwee claimed there was also some theft on the construction internet site.

So, the contractor, Roberts-Obayashi Corp.​, ended up renting the basement of an adjacent house to set up store and run the procedure.

HKIT retained the making under 60 toes in peak, which is the sizing at which builders in the point out of California need to have an on-web page elevator hoist, a layout and construction tactic that saved about $1 million, according to McElwee.

The Completion

Today, Casa de la Mision stands as a testament to mindful arranging and local community enter.

That shines as a result of in a individual 3-D mural on the building’s western facet. The mural, identified as The Five Sacred Colours of Corn, was recreated by Precita Eyes Muralists Association, a San Francisco-dependent non-revenue.

It pays homage to the connection concerning men and women and character and acts as a “gateway” to Balmy Alley.

On the floor ground of the group are two retail spaces that deal with the major avenue. It also features a frequent space that features a kitchen and seating area where by Mercy Housing delivers on-web site instruction and referrals to neighborhood-primarily based applications.

Atop the creating, a yard terrace contains potted indigenous vegetation and views of the hills of California’s Bay Spot. The next and 3rd floors property 45 models with a blend of studio and a single-bedroom solutions obtainable to seniors in require of cost-effective housing.

Merlino Style and design Partnership President Bruce Hurowitz pointed out how perfectly the developing is built-in into the community and referred to as the interiors lively and attractive.

“It’s not just an affordable apartment, Mercy also has an on-website companies provider which indicates there are social expert services, activities, and activities for the inhabitants,” McElwee stated.

Courtesy HKIT Architects

McElwee’s biggest resource of pleasure on this task came in the days following construction when a female in a stroller walked earlier. He listened to the female remark on how very well the creating healthy in, and he mentioned they would now have known he was associated with the undertaking.

“For us to establish a constructing that they’re pleased with and suits into the community, I assume that is mission completed.