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natives + nomads a mutual cultural exchange


location table of contents

vellum context




I never really appreciated the value of travel until I had the opportunity to study abroad. Having never left California prior to my ten month adventure in Europe, I had a very limited exposure to different lifestyles, cultures, and ways of thought. Going through my own personal transformation at the time, being able to be immersed and surrounded by a completely new environment allowed me to learn a lot about not only myself, but the world and the people around me; and with much greater impact than could have been achieved by reading a book or watching a film. Having been lucky enough to be given an opportunity like this and realizing that most people would not be in a position where they would be able to experience the world they way I had, I knew that going into my thesis year, I wanted to work on a project that would allow more people to have an experience like I did and would promote diversity and understanding through a mutual, cultural exchange.

create a space that serves both the local community and those who visit said community. encourage visitors to visit a place by providing cost-effective lodging and transportation options in a centralized, culturally significant location.


serve the native community by providing commercial, social, cultural, and infrastructural enhancements that improve the quality of life of those who interact with it daily. create a space that promotes diversity and mutual understanding within the community itself and between those visiting said community. create a cultural hub; a place of mutual, cultural exchange and understanding.





integrated community


Travel is a vital part of human life. Being able to interact with a variety of people, places, and cultures not only enriches one’s own knowledge and understanding of the world, but also strengthens our society’s intercultural relationships and diversity. This strengthening is key to combating many of the social challenges (racism, sexism, classicism, heterosexism) facing us today in the effort to maintaining peaceful, coexistent relations. Being able to have this type of learning experience first-hand is immeasurably more impactful than attempting to learn about them from a book, film, or television program. The challenge with ensuring that people are able to make the most of these cultural-educationexperiences is the manner or mindset in which most people, particularly Americans, currently choose to travel. Rather than embracing ourselves as travelers: those who embrace not only what they can get from their travels, but also what they can contribute to the communities they are visiting (and often to a much deeper and immersive degree); we choose to be tourists, taking in only the most superficial elements of a place and contributing to nothing more than its economy.

In general, Americans fail not only in their capacity as travelers, but also in their capacity as hosts. Rather than embracing visitors as new people to meet and learn from, to share experiences with, and ultimately improve one another’s mutual understanding, American’s often scoff at the idea and choose annoyance, frustration, and a “this is my yard” attitude.

for whom

As a solution to these issues, this thesis will be centered around the design of dual hostel and café/community space with the aim of creating a space that serves as both a place to gather for the current residents of the community as well as a place to call “home” for those just there to explore the city for a brief time. To be located in the heart of San Francisco adjacent to the MUNI and other forms of mass public transportation, this project will be easily accessible by both travelers and locals alike and serve as a space for mutual, cultural exchange between both the natives and nomads of San Francisco; a place in which to converse, interact—and ultimately live—with one another.

San Francisco hosted 16.8 million visitors in 2012. Top 10 feeder markets for San Francisco were: New York Los Angeles Chicago Washington Boston Seattle San Diego Portland Sacramento San Francisco Bay area (outside San Francisco)


Visitors to San Francisco spent $8.63 billion in local businesses. 74,000 jobs are supported by tourism with a total annual payroll of $2.18 billion. 98% of San Francisco residents believe tourism to be important or very important to the vitality of San Francisco’s economy. 82% of San Francisco residents disagree with the statement “San Francisco has too many tourists.” 78% of San Francisco residents believe tourism makes San Francisco a better place.

San Francisco Hotel Industry Facts 33,642 hotel rooms in San Francisco (city/county limits as of September 2012). 215 hotels in San Francisco. 20,000 (approx.) of these rooms in walking distance of Moscone Center. 14% hotel tax rate. San Francisco Hotel Guest Profile Average annual household income: $118,000. Average spending in San Francisco (per person, per day): $240.31. First-time San Francisco visitors: 27.2% Traveling with children: 17.2% Average age: 43 years. Average nights in San Francisco hotels: 3.5 nights. People per room: 2.0. Arrived by air: 69.2% Overnight hotel guests account for more than two of very three dollars spent locally by out-of-town visitors despite representing only 1/3 of all visitors to the city (the balance stayed either in private homes with friends or relatives, stayed in hotels outside the city though San Francisco was their primary destination, or were day visitors from nearby areas).


San Francisco, California is an ideal place to accomplish my goal of promoting a cultural exchange between those who reside in the city (natives) and those who are visiting it (nomads). As cited previously, 98% of San Francisco residents believe tourism to be important or very important to the vitality of San Francisco’s economy, 82% of San Francisco residents disagree with the statement “San Francisco has too many tourists,” and 78% of San Francisco residents believe tourism makes San Francisco a better place. As one of the most prominent cities on the West Coast (the Paris of the West) and receiving 16.8 million visitors last year— for everyting from the Golden Gate Bridge to Fisherman’s Wharf; from Giants games AT&T Park to San Francisco Pride in the Castro District—San Francisco is primed to welcome people in from all walks of life.

San Francisco is know for its cool-summer, Mediterranean climate, generally characterized by dry summers and wet, mild winters. It’s moderate weather and temperatures make it ideal for designing both interior and exterior spaces to promote cross-cultural, native/nomad interations.


Based off of the available climate data for San Francisco, a combination of passive solar, natural ventilation, some thermal massing, and back-up mechanical heating systems should be the primary strategies employed to allow for appropriate comfort and energy use.

For the included zoning map: Residential is yellow [Neighborhood Commercial is purple] Downtown is red Industrial is blue/gray Mixed use in its multiple variants is light orange


The current zoning is also appropriate for the program of this proposal as it is located at the mixed use / transistioning point between downtown/commercial and residential zones.


The Castro serves as a good general location for this thesis due to both its individual cultural significance as a historical San Francisco neighborhood, but also in its adjacency to other major attractions the city of San Francisco has to offer, including Golden Gate Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Financial District, and the San Francisco pierscape.

city context

The specific site is located at the intersection of Market Street and Castro Street in the heart of the Castro District. Already serving as a cultural hub for the city, the centralized location of the site in combination with its proximity to other major tourist attractions and to tranportation infrastructure such as BART, the Muni Metro, and freeway systems makes it ideal for giving visitors what they need to get the most out of their stay in San Francisco as well as giving them more direct contact with where locals actually work, shop, and live.

site context

history of the castro

late 19th / early 20th little scandinavia protestant influences

1922 italian immigrants bank of italy

1930s irish immigrants catholic immigrants

1940s + 1970s to present increasing lgbt population human rights campaign

The site itself has its own historical and cultural significance as does its surrounding context. One of the buildings currently occupying the site is historically protected due to events in the 60s and 70s involving the Harvey Milk campaign. As a result the site is also directly adjacent to the Harvey Milk Memorial Plaza and the Castro Flag. Other culturally relevant nearby attractions include the Castro Theatre, the GLBT History Museum, and the LGBT Community Center (+ Hot Cookie!).

cultural context


emotive program

















Due to the historical context and existing historical landmark on my site, an approach of adaptivereuse in the architectural development will be necessary. In the development of this thesis project and the interaction between the new architecture and the existing building/wall that shall remain, I hope to respect what exists while not allowing it to hinder this opportunity to creat something truly special.


This thesis will consist of various elements on every level from architecture to program to context and more that must connect with one another. I believe the core of this thesis lies will ability to stitch thies together into a whole in the quarter


potential lie in my elements cohesive to come.

existing structure

new program

variable circulation


changing skin

shared circulation

hostel integrated whole

The plans for this new building are centered around a large (as well as a variety) of social spaces that are 100% accessible by the local community and visiting community alike while having lodging and minor support spaces solely accessible by the hostel guests (for security purposes).


floor 00

floor 01

floor 02





Going forward, I plan on using the final book as my driving goal as a way to present not only the skills I have developed for my architectural education, but also my abilities in graphic design, graphic communication, marketing, and technology. Creating a well developed floor plan and using said floor plan to design the space in both section and section perspective as demonstrated in the sketches that follow will be my planned process over spring break and going into the quarter to come.



Behance [] Climate Consultant 5 Google Maps The Noun Project [Meeting designed by Joe Sparano from the] [Abacus designed by Cris Dobbins from the] [Traveler designed by RĂŠmy MĂŠdard from the]


San Francisco Planning Department [ aspx?page=1569] San Francisco Travel [] Wikipedia []

joshua king stannard winter 2014

natives + nomads  

Joshua King thesis book (2nd draft).

natives + nomads  

Joshua King thesis book (2nd draft).