By Joshua Ayers, Senior Editor
San Francisco—Non-profits Bridge Housing and Community Housing Partnership have unveiled their latest mixed-use affordable housing development, Rene Cazenave Apartments (RCA), in San Francisco’s evolving Transbay neighborhood. The 120-unit community, designed by San Francisco-based Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, will provide a home for previously chronically homeless residents.
Rene Cazenave Apartments’ 120 mini-apartments are comprised of 108 studios and 12 one-bedroom floor plans. The building includes ground-floor commercial retail and was built with sustainability in mind.
The sustainable components includes a solar canopy above the main roof, which is covered completely with solar hot water panels, which will provide 65 percent of the building’s hot water, as well as solar electric panels. Roofs on the one-story section of the buildings have been planted with drought tolerant plants. The community is located in an area of San Francisco that will eventually have reclaimed water mains and toilets at the community are dual-plumbed to use the reclaimed water for flushing once the service becomes available. Additional green features include Energy Star appliances, a composting program organized by CHP and run by trained residents, and exterior cladding composed of fiber cement board that does not need to be sealed or painted.
The Transbay neighborhood is located in San Francisco’s SoMa district and has been dubbed the Transbay Redevelopment Area. RCA is the first building to be built in the Transbay Redevelopment Area.
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects designed the community to tie into the traditionally warehouse dominated SoMa Transbay neighborhood. The scale of the building is similar to those on the opposite side of the freeway off ramp and to other future Transbay Redevelopment Area developments.
Another goal with the design was to create a space that facilitated in interaction with others and fostering community. Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects created an extra-wide ground-floor hallway with benches to encourage people to gather and interact, as well as the inclusion of clear glass storefront walls, which allows people to see what is happening in adjacent spaces and to bring in natural light.
The community began leasing in Fall 2013 and is self-managed by Community Housing Partnership.