David Baker Architects

18th + Arkansas/g2 Lofts

Slideshow | Details
Reclaimed from an abandoned railroad tunnel, this site steps steeply up from a light-industrial district into a residential neighborhood. A spectrum of housing reflects this transition, combining a single-family home, a variety of flats, townhouses, affordable artist lofts, and several flexible shared spaces.

The g2 Lofts are an affordable non-profit artists'  live/work development. The project consists of 29 live/work artist's lofts, gallery, studio, and performance spaces.  An experimental live theater forms the street edge, encouraging public participation in this diverse community.

Sharing the site is the 18th + Arkansas Lofts that includes an additional 30 market rate lofts in new industrial type buildings. Layers of pathways, decks, mews, landscaping, and broad city views form a sheltered—yet public—urban garden on terraces tucked into the hill.
Fullwidth image

18th Street elevation from the top of the hill.

A loft unit for sale looking sweet in 2016.

An interior of an 18th Street market-rate loft in the 1990s. Image: David Baker Architects

18th Street Market Rate Lofts

These walk -up loft buildings step down 18th Street with small individual garages. The slip level floor plans provide dynamic interior spaces with varying ceiling heights.

Fullwidth image

Townhouses along Arkansas Street.

Interior of walk up Arkansas Street market rate "key" apartment. Image: David Baker Architects

Detail of individual stoops along Arkansas Street. Image: David Baker Architects

Arkansas Flats

These walk up apartments step down Arkansas Street, meeting the sidewalks with stoops. They have small garages serving five unit modules. A portal at mid block allows pedestrian access to the rear garden. Steps lead to the entries to rear facing townhouses tucked into the crawl spaces of the building modules on the downhill side.

Fullwidth image

Downtown view beyond landscaped terraces.

Private landscaped courtyard steps down the hill.


The building wraps around a large and steep courtyard.

Fullwidth image

18th Street elevation from the bottom of the hill.

An affordable G2 Loft interior. Image: David Baker Architects

Main stairs in g2 Affordable Artist Lofts lobby. Image: David Baker Architects

g2 Affordable Artist Lofts

This affordable artist complex provides BMR lofts to San Francisco artists. At street level there is a 99 seat repertory theater space.

Fullwidth image

Typical upper level plan.

Fullwidth image

Site plan.


Best Design Award
American Society of Landscape Architects
Gold Nugget Award of Merit—Best Mixed-Use Project
Pacific Coast Builders Conference
Grand Award
Builder's Choice Design and Planning Awards
42nd Annual Progressive Architecture Awards

project details


Affordable Housing, All Projects, Apartments, Artist Communities, Lofts, Market-Rate, San Francisco, Townhouses


San Francisco, California


Holliday Development


Artspace Development Corporation


David Baker Architects

General Contractor

Devcon Contractors

Landscape Architect

Miller Company Landscape Architects

Structural Engineer

Peter Culley + Associates


Tom Rider



project data
18th + Arkansas
Potrero Hill
San Francisco, California
Completed 1995
number of units
loft 30
1 bedroom 35
2 bedroom 44
3 bedroom 14
4 bedroom 1
total 94
density ratios
project sf 115,610
site sf 65,000
acres 1.5
total bedrooms 169
bedrooms/acre 113
units/acre 63
total 91
spaces/unit 0.97
type private garage