San Francisco CA | Completed
The goal was to expedite the development process and reduce cost using philanthropic funding, then engage modular design to streamline construction. Completed in 2021 within the schedule and cost goals, Tahanan was realized 30% faster than similar San Francisco projects.
Tahanan offers 145 studios for individuals affected by homelessness, built with five levels of modular construction over a concrete ground floor. Fabricated, finished, and furnished off site, each module includes two complete studio units plus a section of connecting corridor.
The design maximizes the infill site with compact homes over a community-focused ground floor. With high ceilings and extensive glazing, the light-filled space balances security and transparency. The building offers extensive social support resources as well as a flexible community room that opens to a sunny courtyard lined with rainbow murals by artist Wendy Heldmann.
The building features a striking sawtooth facade that orients apartment windows toward downtown skyline views and away from the facing Hall of Justice. The rain-screen façade, developed in conjunction with local company BOK Modern, combines weathering steel and natural aluminum and is perforated for integrated venting.
The site falls within the SOMA Pilipinas Cultural District, which was established by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Planning Department to preserve the cultural diversity of the South of Market with special attention to the culture and contributions of the Filipino American community in the area.
For the design, the project team consulted with SOMA Pilipinas, who offered thoughtful cultural references and imagery to inform design elements, which appear throughout the building. This collaboration resulted in the use of the traditional ‘banig’ handwoven grass mats as a source for a pattern in the cast concrete; a graphic representation of rice field terraces in the perforated metal of the striking aluminum stair tower; and a color palette drawn from Filipino imagery.
The building name, Tahanan, is a Tagalog word which evokes “home”, “coming home”, “return home” and represents a place for people and families to return to or rest.
833 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA