Bayview Hill Gardens Affordable Housing, All, Apartments, Green, San Francisco
San Francisco, California

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large image slideshow | project details

Resident Dior Hall. Image: Matt Edge


Bayview Hill Gardens is open and rapidly moving in formerly homeless families and individuals. One resident, Dior Hall, was brought to wider attention by the PBS NewsHour, when her move from shelter to a permanent home at Bayview Hill Gardens was held up by last October's government shutdown. Upon receiving keys to the new apartment, Dior told NewsHour, "It was total happiness, exhaustion, and excitement. One of the first things that hit me when I walked through the door was a sense of responsibility. I need to pay my own bills, pay my rent."

Dior works part-time and is looking forward to her newfound stability to work more and to begin classes to be a real estate agent. "Moving here from the shelter has been a blessing and a boost," she says. "From here, I can work more and study so I can help other people."

Residential entry. Image: Matt Edge

Entry screen. Image: Matt Edge

Taking over the site of a disused motel, this project will provides green, supportive housing for formerly homeless families and bring new life and “eyes on the street” to the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco. Some studio units reserved for youth aging out of foster care.

The transit-oriented housing is well placed for residents without cars: It is adjacent to the Muni light rail line and will also provide social services on-site.

The building steps down along the steep slope of Le Conte Street, its massing broken into discrete volumes to reflect the residential neighborhood fabric. The five-story building fronts both Le Conte and Third streets and wraps around a large communal courtyard that features many uses for the enjoyment of all residents.

Lobby with custom K door. Image: Matt Edge

Custom tables built in the DBA shop. Image: Matt Edge



The ground level features social-services offices, a resident lounge conveniently linked to the laundry room and computer lab, and a community room that opens onto a large landscaped courtyard.

Throughout, the common spaces are warmed by custom details that give the building a unique look, such as a cast counter for the reception desk, a curving wood ceiling of the lobby, built-in mailboxes and recycling bins, and some furnishings made in the DBA shop. 

Community room detail. Image: Matt Edge

Courtyard and community room doors. Image: Matt Edge

A new fruit tree in the courtyard with the sun shaded south facing windows be hid.


Landscape architects Interstice Architects, with the help of the interdisciplinary firm Rebar Group—known for starting the civic-minded PARK(ing) Day—has developed a plan for an extensive community garden and green area within the site.

A picnic area and playground are surrounded by an “edible landscape,” an 8,500-square-foot urban garden made of raised planting beds that allow residents to get their hands dirty and grow their own food. The garden, while protected, is visually open to provide a glimpse of green to passersby through the building entry.

PDF Icon20709 6600 Third Afrocentric Design 2010-09-30

Social services lobby. Image: Matt Edge

Window decals create privacy for the social services offices. The images are drawn from Botswanan basketry. Image: Matt Edge



To reflect and honor the history of the neighborhood and the residential population, an Afrocentric theme runs through the development, with African-inspired fractal-based design elements reflected in the entry screen, wood ceiling panels, and garden layout. The entry screen form and pattern is generated by a sinuous line abstracted from natural landscape elements found in Botswana.  Cultural elements from Botswana are also evident in the basket patterns at the office windows and the kraal-inspired balcony railing patterns (a kraal is a circular woven enclosure). The earth-tone building colors and native African plants contribute to the Afrocentric theme.

Montage view from Le Conte Avenue.

Existing condition photographic panorama from down Le Conte Street.

The sustainable plan employs several complementary green strategies—including solar domestic hot water and storm-water treatment—and is being designed within the Build It Green GreenPoint Rated program.

The Cahill Constructors site foreman, Stephanie Lind, with architect Amit Price Patel.

Vertical board-form concrete finish: wabi sabi.



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project details


Providence Foundation

Nonprofit Housing Developer

Mercy Housing California

Development Consultant


Landscape Architect

Interstice Architects

Community Garden Designer

Rebar Group

Structural Engineer

OLMM Consulting Engineers

Electrical Engineer

FW Associates

Lighting Designer


Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer

Raymond Brooks Engineering


Cahill Contractors


project data
1075 LeConte
Third and Le Conte Streets
San Francisco, California
Completed November 2013
number of units
studio 17
1 bedroom 24
2 bedroom 24
3 bedroom 8
total 73
density ratios
project sf
site sf 26,337
acres 0.6
total bedrooms 113
units/acre 121
GreenPoint Rated