222 Taylor by David Baker Architects

222 Taylor by David Baker Architects

Designed by David Baker Architects, 222 Taylor is an affordable family building opened in 2019. The building has taken a circuitous route through the development and design process. More than a decade in the making, 222 Taylor had to overcome numerous bureaucratic and funding setbacks - including the 2008 recession and the demise of the local redevelopment agency - and multiple redesigns before reaching completion this year.

The accomplishment of a very persistent development and design team, the building now offers 113 affordable homes for low-income and formerly homeless families and individuals to the Tenderloin neighborhood in the heart of San Francisco.

The 9-story mid-rise replaces a surface parking lot on the north corner of Eddy and Taylor streets with a no-parking, high-density, mixed-use building just two blocks from the BART & Muni Station and the Market Street corridor.

Ground-level retail spaces with 15-foot ceilings are set to activate the corner and street edge: A long-time neighborhood grocer is expanding into one space, and a local Yemeni restaurant is building out the prominent corner spot.

The building includes a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units, and 30 of the homes are permanently set aside for formerly homeless families. A services suite includes office and conference space for management and two full-time social workers who provide comprehensive support to all families living in the building. The property is managed by the non-profit developer, whose office is on the next block.

Demarcated by a bright, custom front door, the building's airy entry lobby offers wide views to the community room and courtyard beyond, easy access to building services, and walls adorned with super-graphics made from enlarged watercolors by a local artist.

The flexible central courtyard offers several seating & play zones and is a connecting hub for the community spaces of the building: an easily accessed bike parking room, laundry, community room, and a shared kitchen. Views from the courtyard out through the retail space to the street keep the community connected to the neighborhood. A coming roof farm will maximize the views from the top of the central 9-story building and will extend the community outdoor space, which is at a premium in the area.

The contextual building both fits in and stands out in the historic neighborhood, with a warm, variegated brick fa├žade referencing local masonry and dramatic notches that align with surrounding historic cornices. The development is on track for LEED for Homes Mid-Rise and EnergyStar Multifamily High-Rise certification.

Photography: Bruce Damonte

David Baker Architects