Timber Town

Timber Town is holistic in its problem‑solving approach to provide affordable housing for San Franciscans.

The effects of gentrification, low affordable housing stock, high construction costs, systemic racism and the Covid-19 pandemic have created a public health and humanitarian crisis in San Francisco leaving our most vulnerable citizens without shelter and services. Using a factory town as its model, the proposed development provides prefabricated mass timber housing, community infrastructure, and economic opportunities for its residents by repurposing an existing automotive facility for onsite housing production. The development is a framework for regenerative living.

The transit rich project site harnesses the edges of neighborhoods adjacent to the Central Freeway overpass. An on-site mass timber prefabrication facility provides the means for expanding housing. Aiming for low first and operational costs, the kit-of-parts approach utilizes a 12’ x 12’ grid as the basis for the housing modules, which can be configured to accommodate diverse households. The 12’ wide breezeway also provides an urban porch condition that allows for physically distant circulation.

Community modules are designed to foster gardening, responsible gathering, communal kitchens, childcare and co-living activity space. On-site urban farming provides healthy food access, creates job opportunities, and supports early education about connection to food and environment.

Timber Town proposes treating a systematic issue like houselessness with a systematic approach: layering emerging construction technology, job opportunity, healthy food access, and amenity-rich, community-oriented housing. Equitable housing development and sustainable living is the foundation of a regenerative community with opportunities to grow.

Timber Town is a comprehensive solution for the affordable housing crisis. Modeled after the factory town, it proposes a self-sustaining economic and wellness model that encourages participation among residents and promises economic empowerment. The submission communicates above all that 'sustainable design' can and should extend well beyond the use of green construction materials, to become a means for implementing a holistic infrastructure that supports long-term affordable and healthy living, both for individual residents and for the wider urban community. Juror Comment Buildner San Francisco Affordable Housing Challenge
San Francisco, CA
Buildner San Francisco Affordable Housing Challenge
Green Award
PCBC Gold Nugget Awards
Merit Award ‑ Innovative Housing Concepts
San Francisco Design Week Awards
Honorable Mention ‑ Architecture
Landscape Design
April Philips Design Works
Structural Engineering
DCI Engineers
MEP Engineering
Point Energy Innovations
Multistudio asterisk