Parkview Terraces

San Francisco
Photo © Joe Fletcher
Photo © Rien van Rijthoven
Photo © Rien van Rijthoven
Photo © Rien van Rijthoven
Fougeron Architecture
871 Turk Street, 94102 San Francisco

Context and Program:

Two developers, collaborating with the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, sought at least 100 affordable housing units for seniors in a mixed-use development on 16,500 sf at the prominent intersection of Turk and Gough Streets, overlooking two blocks of public open space. Nearby buildings include new housing and nondescript offices. The 101-unit concrete, glass, and stucco design creates 57 studios and 44 single-bedrooms atop street-level retail and service spaces, along with terraces, common spaces, and parking for 22 vehicles.


Affordable housing goals came with strict budget constraints. Innovative materials use and design of units and mechanical systems held costs to only $250/sf, for total construction costs of $25 million.

Challenges/Unusual Characteristics:

To avoid code-mandated high-rise expenses, the top floor had to be less than 75 ft above ground, but 100 units were needed to meet project goals. Hills and open parks to the west increase the visual prominence of the corner site. Due to orientation, a traditional design would block sunlight to most units and outdoor areas. Heavy traffic on the Gough Street thoroughfare added constraints on the location of open spaces and noise challenges.


The name ‘Parkview Terraces' refers to the generous outdoor terraces exploiting sun angles and views to the parks across the street and beyond to the distant hills.

Innovative massing, unit arrangement, and façades respond to the site's challenges without sacrificing affordability. A nine-story tower on the north face of the structure rises above three lower floors. The L-shaped massing engages different street-level contexts on Turk and Gough Streets, but also allows ample natural light to all units without shading the ground-floor courtyard terrace or the fourth-floor terrace to the south.

Careful threading of mechanical, electrical, and water systems allows for the equivalent of another residential floor without compromising size of living areas or outdoor terraces. Taking advantage of the downhill cross-slope, a full level of parking and storage was placed under the Turk Street entry, allowing the ground floor to feature resident-related spaces, including a double-height lobby, a multilevel Courtyard Terrace, community room, health club, beauty salon, therapy center, social services center, and offices. Several ground-floor amenities enjoy sidewalk entry as well as access from inside.

Units range from 400 to 690 sf but seem larger due to the expansive glass façades. All units are fully accessible or adaptable, with complete kitchens and bathrooms.

The north- and south-facing exteriors give a modern interpretation to the traditional bay window rhythm of the San Francisco street, while the wave-like articulation of the glassy façades maximizes natural light to the units and gives views to the parks on the opposite corner. Along with the staggered horizontal undulation of the window bays, exterior bands extend and expose the floor slabs at one- and two-story intervals, to mitigate building scale and create visual interest, without introducing costly new materials. The western façade responds to auto traffic on Gough Street with a more solid expression and narrower openings to account for noise and glare.

Sustainable Features:

Parkview Terraces also incorporates many sustainable features in for the comfort to the residents and in consideration of the neighboring community. As a publicly financed building, these ‘green' design considerations also provide financial and life cycle cost accountability to various funding sources. Some of the sustainable features include:

Outdoor areas. Landscaped outdoor areas for common use are oriented for maximum sun exposure and daylight. Two roof terraces take utilize the flat roofs. There is a vegetable garden on the second story and a terrace adjacent to the library on the fourth story.

Urban redevelopment. This former brown-field site was mitigated for its present use. The urban location offers close proximity to public transportation, groceries and cultural venues. All parking is located below grade, and the roofs are highly reflective to reduce the heat island effect.

Light & Ventilation. Daylight and city or park views are provided for all units. The glazing system is insulated, heat reflective glass. Z ducts and operable windows provide natural ventilation to each unit.

Energy Efficiency. Heating is provided by a highly efficient hydronic heating system and fluorescent fixtures in all common spaces, unit bathrooms, and unit kitchens reduce the energy load of the building. All appliances are energy star rated.

Interiors. Recycling storage is provided on each residential level. The kitchen range hood is vented to the exterior for interior air quality. Also, all carpeting in the building has recycled content and is a CRI green labeled plus system. Woven strand bamboo, a rapidly renewable resource, is used in the public areas for its durability. Linoleum and ceramic tile are used for all wet areas and paint throughout the building is low VOC.

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