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HOW-TO: Stoops


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A brownstone stoop in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. Image: David Baker Architects

Three Victorians on Valencia Street in San Francisco. The homeowner turned the driveway of the center building into a mini park/stoop, the Deepistan Parklet.

Stoops that connect private living spaces to public streets are one core strategy for enlivening the edges of urban buildings.

The nuance is providing a buffer between the private interior use and the public street. The most common way to achieve this is with a height differential, ideally around three feet. 

Traditional stoops were not constrained by modern codes, so they tend to be more varied, interesting, and successful.

A nicely done renovation in the Pearl District of Portland, as seen in 2014. Image: David Baker Architects

DBA Stoops

We do modern versions of traditional stoops on our designs as part of our "Activate the Edges" design principle (see 9 Ways to Build Community with Urban Housing).

300 Ivy Street

These modern rusted steel stoops are located on Grove Street in Hayes Valley at 300 Ivy Street, a mixed-use market-rate condominium building.

DBA: Computer rendering of a stoop along Grove Street at 300 Ivy. Image: David Baker Architects

DBA: A laser-cut weathering-steel stoop on Grove Street at 300 Ivy in Hayes Valley. Image: Bruce Damonte

Lakeside Senior Apartments

This affordable, supportive senior housing near Oakland's Lake Merritt was developed by the non-profit Satellite Affordable Housing Associates. The building has shared stoops that allow direct entry into ground-floor units.

DBA: A resident on her modern stoop at Lakeside Senior Apartments in Oakland. Image: David Baker Architects

Station Center Family Housing

Near the Union City BART Station, our design for the affordable Station Center Family Housing includes at-grade units that are entered from the sidewalk via bridges over a stormwater swale.

DBA: The stoop entries at Station Center Family Housing are level to allow ADA access, and are buffered from the street by a stormwater retention swale. Though this looks like a townhouse, it is actually stacked flats. Image: David Baker Architects

Armstrong Place Family Townhouses

In San Francisco's Bayview, this affordable townhouse community includes stoops with practical decks.

DBA: A modern stoop at Armstrong Place, family townhouses in the Bayview. Image: David Baker Architects

Crescent Cove 

This affordable housing developed by Related added 236 new "workforce" homes to Mission Bay in San Francisco in 2007.

DBA: A stoop with resident engagement at Crescent Cove, workforce housing completed in 2007, photo in 2016. Image: David Baker Architects

DBA: A stoop at Crescent Cove, workforce housing completed in 2007, photo in 2016. Image: David Baker Architects

Langton Way POPOS at 855 Brannan is lined with stoops. Image: Bruce Damonta

DBA: Modern stoops at Lakeside Senior Apartments in Oakland. Image: Mariko Reed

The modern stoops at our 2015 Lakeside Affordable Senior Housing in 2016. Image: David Baker Architects

DBA: A resident on her modern stoop at Lakeside Senior Apartments in Oakland. Image: David Baker Architects

DBA: At Five88, workforce housing in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood, stoops facing a coming park activate the building edge, offering a direct connection to the sidewalk and providing a place for personalization. Image: David Baker Architects

DBA: At Five88, the stoops have folded weathering-steel "bridges" that cross a bioswale, allowing stormwater to flow underneath and increasing the amount of runoff that can be treated on site. Image: David Baker Architects

DBA: A modern stoop at Armstrong Place, family townhouses in the Bayview. Image: David Baker Architects

DBA: A modern stoop at Ironhorse Affordable Apartments in West Oakland. Image: David Baker Architects

DBA: A stoop on Grove Street at 300 Ivy, a mixed-use market-rate building in Hayes Valley. Image: Bruce Damonte

DBA: Computer rendering of a stoop along Grove Street at 300 Ivy. Image: David Baker Architects

DBA: A laser-cut weathering-steel stoop on Grove Street at 300 Ivy in Hayes Valley. Image: Bruce Damonte

DBA: Active stoops at Pacific Pointe in Hunters View, affordable family housing in San Francisco. Image: Bruce Damonte

DBA: Active stoops at Pacific Pointe, affordable family housing in Hunters View in San Francisco. Image: Bruce Damonte

DBA: Pacific Cannery Lofts in West Oakland has stoop/porches repurposed from an original cannery loading dock. Image: David Baker Architects

DBA: These new stoops were added to the Pacific Cannery Lofts alley facing the ground-level homes to activate the pedestrian edge. Image: Brian Rose

DBA: The stoop entries at Station Center Family Housing are level to allow ADA access, and are buffered from the street by a stormwater retention swale. Though this looks like a townhouse, it is actually stacked flats. Image: David Baker Architects

DBA: A stoop at Crescent Cove, workforce housing completed in 2007, photo in 2016. Image: David Baker Architects

DBA: A stoop with resident engagement at Crescent Cove, workforce housing completed in 2007, photo in 2016. Image: David Baker Architects

DBA: A stoop at Crescent Cove, workforce housing completed in 2007, photo in 2014. Image: David Baker Architects

Three Victorians on Valencia Street in San Francisco. The homeowner turned the driveway of the center building into a mini park/stoop, the Deepistan Parklet.

A San Francisco stoop on 17th Street near the Castro.

A typical stoop in Hayes Valley, San Francisco.

Stoops on two tiny houses in the Dogpatch in San Francisco. These houses were built from plans published in the newspaper.

A nicely done renovation in the Pearl District of Portland, as seen in 2014.

A nicely done renovation in the Pearl District of Portland, as seen in 2014. Image: David Baker Architects

A brownstone stoop in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. Image: David Baker Architects

A typical brownstone stoop in Greenwich Village in New York City. Note the half-level-down floor. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoops. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoops. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoops. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoops. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoops. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoops. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoops. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoops. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoops. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoop. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoop. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoop next to a modern entry without stoop. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoops. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoops. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoops. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoop. Image: David Baker Architects

Philadelphia stone stoops. Image: DBA

Philadelphia stone stoops. Image: David Baker Architects