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

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Image: Steve Proehl

Resident Latonia Wiliams—who just graduated as valedictorian of her class at City College—shares her gratitude for a stable home at Bayview Hill Gardens: "I used to be a hopeless dope fiend, but now I like to say that I'm a dopeless hope fiend!" Image: Amy Sullivan




District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen honors the dozens of people who worked for years on behalf of this project. Image: Amy Sullivan



On June 27, 2014, after nearly 14 years in the development pipeline, Bayview Hill Gardens enjoyed a crowded and moving dedication ceremony. The building now provides safe and stable homes to formerly homeless families and transition-aged youth.

The main entry on Le Conte Avenue, with the shield above. Image: Bruce Damonte

Entry screen. Image: Matt Edge

Formerly homeless families find stable homes in this affordable development, the first of its kind in its San Francisco neighborhood. With a community garden at its heart, the sustainable building provides gathering spaces and supportive services for residents and neighbors.

Previously the location of a derelict motel, this blighted site was a longtime source of crime and disruption. The new, secure building brings 73 homes, new energy, and "eyes on the street" to the neighborhood.

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. The community room is the home of the after-school program, which provides healthy snacks, homework help, and activities for the building's 115 children. 

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

Community room detail. Image: Matt Edge

Courtyard and community room doors. Image: Matt Edge

The urban agriculture garden in the courtyard. Image: Bruce Damonte



At the heart of the development, an 8,500-square-foot urban garden with fruit trees, vines, and raised planting beds allows residents to grow their own food and get their hands dirty. Seating and play areas are surrounded by this “edible landscape”, which is overseen by a local gardening non-profit. Residents provide the daily care of the central garden which, while protected, is visually open to provide a glimpse of green to passersby.

Landscape architects Interstice Architects, with the help of the interdisciplinary firm Rebar Group—known for starting the civic-minded PARK(ing) Day—developed the plan for the extensive community garden, which anchors the site.


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 design elements reflected in the entry screen, wood ceiling panels, and garden layout.

The entry screen form and pattern was generated by a sinuous line abstracted from natural landscape elements found in Botswana.  Cultural elements from Botswana are also evident, appearing 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.

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."

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 achieved a GreenPoint Rating of 153 points.
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AIA Housing Award
American Institute of Architects
Affordable Residential Real Estate Deal of the Year (San Francisco)
San Francisco Business Times

project details


Providence Foundation

Nonprofit Housing Developer

Mercy Housing California

Development Consultant


Landscape Architect

Interstice Architects

Community Garden Designer

Rebar Group

Garden Program

Urban Sprouts

Structural Engineer

OLMM Consulting Engineers

Electrical Engineer

FW Associates

Lighting Designer


Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer

Raymond Brooks Engineering


Cahill Contractors

Social Services Provider

Bayview Hunters Point Foundation for Community Improvement


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
153 points