Improving quality-of-life in the first public housing in San Francisco’s Chinatown
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"3000","speed":"300","arrows":"true","dots":"false","loop":"true","nav_slide_column":5,"rtl":"false"}

DETAILS

LocationSan Francisco, California United States
ClientChinatown Community Development Center/Gelfand Partners Architects
Size5 acres (four sites)

The San Francisco public housing projects known as “pings” are widely viewed as successful. Part of this success is a direct result of their ties with the wider Chinatown community: they are comparatively low-crime, and their tenants are well-organized. Composed of four buildings with 434 units, 2,000+ residents, and five acres of landscape, the Pings are a part of a complex web of social, cultural, and historical constructs – but due to a long period of mismanagement, corruption, and wear and tear since the 1950s, they had fallen into disrepair. SWA’s landscape improvements are part of a $64M refurbishment that strategically allocates resources for the greatest impact on residents’ quality-of-life. The design is driven by three key principles: dignity, the sense of home, and an environment that supports shared activity.  Unconventional, gardenesque plantings, residential furnishings, and natural materials dramatically shift the space toward these principles and away from a previously “institutional” aesthetic. Spear-pointed entry gates were removed, while the addition of front porches, outdoor living rooms, a playground, and three large community gardens make the landscape a shared amenity and a framework for enabling community.

Related Projects

Gotham West

Gotham West is a residential development west of Times Square that nearly encompasses a full city block. The space between two mid-rise buildings and a market-rate tower forms a signature courtyard accessed from the tower’s lobby. A sculptural Japanese maple, floating within a reflecting pool, serves as a focal feature. Other courtyard elements include illumin...

Raycom City

The planned district’s one-kilometer-long public park and retail promenade draws inspiration from Hefei’s ancient river city identity and waterside parks, and includes a string of five special places–the Triangle Park, the Ribbon Park, the Crescent Park, the Source Fountain Plaza, and the Children’s Playground. All of these are connected by rain gardens, grove...

Next C

Next C Water City is a new, fully self-contained sustainable city planned for 500,000 residents. Water was central to the Next C planning concept, supplied by two adjacent rivers and monsoon rains. The city is a system of wetlands, rivers, lakes, and canals, cleansing the water from up-river communities and managing floods during the monsoon season. Working wi...

Stanford Branner Hall

Branner Hall is a three-story undergraduate dormitory built in 1924 by Bakewell and Brown, prominent architects of the time who were also responsible for San Francisco’s City Hall. The renovation design creates two significant courtyards: an entrance courtyard flanked with four-decades-old magnolia trees shading a seating area and an interior courtyard with a ...

The Sovereign at Regent Square

The Sovereign at Regent Square is a multi-family apartment building located within the first phase of the mixed-use Regent Square development along Buffalo Bayou in Houston, Texas. The project features an amenity deck with pool, offering framed views to Houston’s skyline and a panoramic view of the city. Outdoor living spaces surround a formal pool shaded by a...

Raycom City

The planned district’s one-kilometer-long public park and retail promenade draws inspiration from Hefei’s ancient river city identity and waterside parks, and includes a string of five special places–the Triangle Park, the Ribbon Park, the Crescent Park, the Source Fountain Plaza, and the Children’s Playground. All of these are connected by rain gardens, grove...

Amber Bay

The Amber Bay residential development is located on a beautiful rocky promontory that is among the last available parcels along the Dalian shoreline, southeast of the city center. The project features high-end low density modern style residential development including single family villas, townhouses, and low-rise condominiums; shops and seafood restaurants on...

SunCity Takatsuki

Located in a bedroom community midway between Osaka and Kyoto, this facility has both Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing levels of care. The landscape design, complementing the modernist architecture, is organic and fluid with meandering paths traversing various gardens on the south side of the building connecting feature terraces located at each end of the b...