LOOK INSIDE: 9 Ways to Make Housing for People

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This book is for everyone—designers, developers, planners, housing nerds, policy wonks, community leaders, architects, advocates, and activists—who works to create wonderful housing and livable cities for all.

Foreword by Allison Arieff 6 Introduction by Amanda Loper AIA and Daniel Simons FAIA 12 Conclusion 248 Appendix 250 Reweave the Urban Fabric 20 Make Big Moves 54 A Lit tle Goes a Long Way 78 Activate the Edges 102 Be Welcoming 128 Cultivate Connection 150 Enlightened Circulation 174 Art for All 198 Get Personal 218

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7 This book is called 9 Ways to Make Housing for People. It sounds like such an obvious directive. But when you look around, it’s evident that this is not what’s been happening at all. Too often housing is designed not for people but to deliver some perceived future resale value, meet code regulations, appease NIMBYs, or save money.

8 It doesn’t have to be that way, as this book so persuasively demonstrates. Not only is it possible to change the current situation, but the answers have been there all along.

begins with a process of discovery to see what will be most useful to and resonant with residents. This results in inviting buildings where what’s outside the front door and what’s behind it are equally important. Where the quality of light and air is prioritized over slick facades. Where design excellence trumps square footage. Where spaces encourage social interaction and feel like home—whether market-rate, affordable, or otherwise.

Where a building is not merely an object, it’s a contributing part of a larger cohesive and integrated system. Consider this tale of two mixed-use DBA buildings directly opposite each other in San Francisco: 388 Fulton (a collection of market-rate micro-units and two-bedroom apartments fetching up to $1 million each) and Richardson Apartments (supportive rental studios for formerly unhoused residents).

The buildings created by David Baker Architects (DBA) reflect the community’s involvement in their planning and design. As a result, what’s valued—community, diversity, innovation, urbanity—comes forward. The 9 Ways this book focuses on are distinctly not formulaic; they’re the furthest thing from being static and predictable. DBA sees each project as an invitation to riff, experiment, explore, and make an impact—not a checklist to be Everycompleted.DBAproject

Too often it feels like people are an afterthought.

Richardson Apartments shows how DBA has rethought low-income housing. With its strong geometric forms, unabashed use of color and texture, high-quality materials, and private green spaces, it puts to rest the common though misguided theory that affordable housing should look affordable. 388 Fulton shares the same ethos as Richardson Apartments, demonstrating that whether luxury, affordable, or somewhere in between, DBA’s buildings make it possible to imagine a new vision of the American Dream. And it has perhaps never been so important to do exactly that.

In the United States, we are only just now awakening to the dire effects of the single-family home. It’s a paradigm designed for a nuclear family structure that’s long been on the wane—one that ignores the changing nature of families and the imminent crisis in housing for seniors. And it’s a way of thinking about housing that resulted in places that value cars more than people. That in turn means growing numbers of people are spending more time commuting than communing.

So how do we change that?


Here’s the kicker: No one walking past the two buildings would see the difference.

Well, by making housing for people! With every project, DBA is making a compelling case for a new approach. Each building is a gateway to a different way of living. By showing what’s possible, I believe that more and more people will embrace a more walkable, urban lifestyle—possibly even one that’s car-free! I truly hope this book is embraced as a primer or even a spiritual guide, since what it prescribes is essentially a more sustainable, equitable future.

10 It’s not rocket science, it’s what happens when you put people first. For DBA, big moves aren’t about architectural flash or flourish— though they are about great architecture. They’re also about focusing on how people move through and gather in space, and how they thrive in happy homes. Things like views, gathering places, and garden spaces aren’t luxuries—they’re the basics on which real communities depend. And the global pandemic has clearly brought the need for personal outdoor space and generous communal green spaces to the fore. As a devoted urban flaneuse, I love DBA’s notion of “reweaving,” and the importance of immersing oneself wholly in a place, its people, its patterns, and its particularities. I am also drawn to the notion of high-quality building materials being akin to spice: You don’t want to under-season—or over-season—your dish. I can think of many under-salted buildings, and a few that are way too spicy!

DBA is continually innovating, though not just for the sake of innovation. They’ve had great successes with modular, factorybuilt housing, as is evident in projects like the Union Flats and Tahanan Supportive Housing. This building technology has the potential for dramatic savings in time, cost, and construction waste, and has always had a gravitational pull on great designers like Jean Prouvé, Walter Gropius, and Charles and Ray Eames.

DBA has long been a leader in sustainability but never defaults to just meeting standard certifications. Edwina Benner Plaza, for example, shows how the firm is pioneering all-electric affordable housing, while AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten–winning communities like Tassafaronga Village and Lakeside Senior Apartments go way beyond LEED standards to push the envelope of sustainable practice.

The status quo for housing lost the plot a long time ago. Fortunately, with every new building, DBA is helping to write—and share— a new Allisonstory.Arieff

DBA designs spaces and programming for engagement and inclusivity; creates dynamic ground floors that beckon from the street; and provides gardens and landscapes that are both beautiful and sustainable. Art is elevated at every opportunity, as are human relationships. Connection becomes the ultimate amenity.

Above all, the firm is wildly inventive in the way it engages people.

, Editorial Director, MIT Technology Review


So much housing built in America seems to have cleaved to one of two extremes: generic, impersonal apartment buildings and condo complexes, popping up across the country, indiscernible from one another, designed in ignorance of climate or context; or ever-larger single-family homes that have abandoned architectural vernacular in favor of custom features like cathedral ceilings and wine refrigerators. Neither extreme actually makes housing for people.

1 This book about housing was sparked—in a way— many years ago, by one particular house and one particular book.LoperAmandabyIntroduction SimonsDaniel&

David Baker grew up in a rammed-earth, passive-solar house designed and built by his father, Bernard, in Tucson, Arizona. Neither trained nor licensed as an architect—in fact he left school after ninth grade—Bernard was an autodidact, a junkyard owner, a conservationist, a pragmatist, and a rebel.

David Baker officially hung out his shingle in 1982 (first in Berkeley, then a shift to San Francisco), launching an architecture practice based on the core values of sustainability, urbanism, and community. He set out to make homes that were resilient, impactful, and people-oriented—places in which he would be happy to live himself.

Early, informal efforts included building a custom home in Michigan while living in a treehouse on site and somehow getting college credit for it; laboring as a union carpenter; and adventuring to Berkeley, California, twice—once by hitchhiking as a radical revolutionary in 1968, the second to enroll in the UC Berkeley Master of Architecture program in 1977.

The desert home was almost published in the mid-century modern–focused Arts & Architecture magazine, but pulled at the last minute when editors determined that Bernard Baker was not a “real architect.” Bernard shared his passion with a young David by giving him the 1960 “Masters of World Architecture” book set. Reading Françoise Choay’s volume about Le Corbusier— the pioneer of modern architecture—in that hand-built house lit up David’s imagination and set him on his own unconventional path to becoming a “real architect” himself.

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Over the years, we have designed more than 15,000 homes— more than half of them affordable. We are committed to creating high-quality buildings that elevate and integrate into their neighborhoods, improve the pedestrian and civic experience, create and reinforce community connections, and uplift the lives of individuals and families.

The firm hit a turning point in 2010 with the design of Tassafaronga Village—then our largest site to date, and an early exercise in designing multiple buildings in relation to each other, integrated into a dense urban context. The project set and met high urban design and sustainability goals and spurred our thinking and our projects to expand in scale, scope, and region.

Urban housing is a cornerstone of our practice, and the act of providing homes that allow residents to thrive is the main reason most of us have dedicated our time and efforts to this profession.

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In 2015, we branched out to the East Bay, opening an Oakland office that houses DBA_Workshop, our in-house prototyping and fabrication shop. In 2016, we launched our third location, DBA_BHM, in Birmingham, Alabama. From the heart of this fast-growing region, we’re sharing our progressive housing, planning, and advocacy approaches with an array of new communities.

Who We Are David Baker Architects has now been making housing for people for four decades. The firm has grown and evolved, drawing into the fold compassionate, talented architects and designers who want to make housing and improve the way housing is made. As Principals of the firm, we are thrilled to have helped build an amazing staff, portfolio, philosophy, and path to be proud of.

The 9 Ways outlined in this book are a suite of complementary principles that improve housing design at every level—overarching concepts that range in scale and provide an essential foundation for livable places. Fundamental to our work, these ideas and the strategies that support them have evolved from decades of DBA design conversations.

With designs from coast to coast, our housing practice is informed by our work in urban design, hospitality, interior architecture, modular construction, and sustainable design research and leadership. David Baker’s founding principles of sustainability, urbanism, and community are still key. We’ve elaborated on them and expanded their meaning as we’ve grown from the original solo practice to a diverse, collaborative firm of more than 60 dedicated people. Together, we are driven to be a multiplier of good—a term we’ve adopted and adapted from New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, who once noted the “multiplier effect of good design” when describing our buildings’ positive effects on their surroundings, rippling outward.

9 Ways to Make Housing for People

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As core principles, they nurture the design process in key ways. They place human dignity at the center of design, and they cultivate the idea that the way we live in relationship to people and place shapes the broader character, health, and resilience of a city. Designing sustainable housing requires leading with a grounded understanding of human needs—enriching the lives of people in their homes and repairing and supporting communities. The 9 Ways are flexible spatial strategies that interweave with a full range of performance measures that drive how we learn and grow as a practice. As technologies change and environmental challenges accelerate, we keep the human experience front and center.

We began to crystallize the language and structure for these 9 Ways when we were invited to include one project in By the People: Designing a Better America, a 2016–17 exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City highlighting innovative humanitarian designs. We realized that no single building conveyed the essence of our practice and our approach to peoplecentric housing. In the search, we identified a pervasive design language within the firm and realized the power of these qualitative strategies that we endeavor to use in every project: the 9 Ways to Make Housing for People. We have refined these design concepts incrementally, thinking that at face value they are perhaps just common sense. But amid the complex collaborations, millions of decisions, and many years required to create a building, it’s easy to lose track of the fundamental ideas that make it a more pleasant, more supportive, more successful, and more interesting place to be.

Using this Book We explore the 9 Ways one by one, moving from the broadest to the most intimate, though there are big and small opportunities embedded at every turn. Each chapter defines one principle and illustrates how we have deployed the idea in our own housing designs. Ultimately, the 9 Ways are a set of effective and easy-to-use tools. The ideas are simple and their simplicity is their strength. They are easy to understand, envision, and appreciate—even if they aren’t always as easy to implement. Architects, developers, planners, students, community groups, and citizens—you!—can easily grasp and use them to advocate for good design at any scale anywhere, with a focus on creating wonderful places for people.

This guiding framework helps keep the critical aspects and opportunities in focus. The concepts are easy enough to grasp. For example: Leverage and complement your surrounding resources (Reweave the Urban Fabric); always prioritize people over cars or convenience (Activate the Edges); and make sure the entry is visible and inviting (Be Welcoming).

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Putting the right book in David Baker’s hands at the right time lit a spark in him. We hope this book finds you at the right moment—as you are poised to make an impact on your world, at whatever scale. The things you need to learn to be a licensed architect are complex and detailed. But we have found that the things you need to know to be a good architect—or rather a “multiplier of good” architect (or planner or developer or housing advocate) are fairly simple: Keep the human experience at the center of what you do, and take to heart these 9 Ways to Make Housing for People.

12. OME at 1178 Folsom, mixed-use micro-unit housing, San Francisco, 2021.

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11. A collection of maneki-neko lucky cat figurines oversee all design work at the San Francisco office.

1. Passive-solar Usonian house, designed and built by Bernard W. Baker in the Catalina Foothills of Tucson, Arizona, 1947.

8. DBA_SFO in the Clock Tower Lofts in San Francisco, home to DBA since 1992.

10. “Create Happy Outcomes” (ink and watercolor), David Baker, 2007.

2. David Baker on the roof of 339 Maridell in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a home he designed and built for special studies at Thomas Jefferson College, 1974.

6. Conceptual collage for Berkeley’s Cafe Milano, an early people-oriented design, 1985.

9. Folsom & Dore Apartments, San Francisco’s first LEED-certified building, 2005.

4. Spaghetti House’s Trombe wall, along with David Baker and Dazy Dog, on the cover of New Shelter, 1983.

3. Spaghetti House axonometric drawing (ink on mylar), David Baker’s UC Berkeley M.Arch design thesis, 1978.

5. “Design as Balm for a Community’s Soul”: Richardson Apartments on the front page of the New York Times “Arts” section, 2012.

7. By the People exhibit poster, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, 2016.


FabricUrbantheReweave 21 Create, repair, and enhance connections within existing neighborhoods. Reweave the Urban Fabric




For a long time in America’s history, the urban realm was made for automobiles over everything else. Our cities still face the long-term effects created by those choices, even as we move toward more people- and transit-oriented models. Progressive planning and policy will start to mend this fabric, but the power to do so is in our hands as well. As makers of housing, it is our mission to make an impact by reweaving this tapestry where we can, using new development to foster community and contribute to the public realm. With each building we develop or design, we have a chance—and a responsibility—to be urban activists and advocates for livable cities.

The urban fabric is the physical form a city, including its buildings, streets, sidewalks, and open space. This fabric varies from place to place: It may be fine-grained or roughly woven, and it can fray, fall into disrepair, or be patched ineffectively through neglect, poor planning, or time. In the weave of the urban fabric, we experience the flow, feeling, function, and character of a city.


Williams Terrace offers a contemporary interpretation of the historic Charleston Single House, with broad entry porches cooled by ceiling fans. A facade of lime-washed brick links the senior housing to the vernacular architecture seen in the surrounding neighborhood.

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The edible landscape at Bayview Hill Gardens—designed with ecology studio Rebar—includes community garden beds interspersed with fruit trees and picnic tables. The flexible courtyard at Armstrong Place Senior Apartments makes room for the addition of traditional smokers next to the modern gas grill, allowing the community to throw the cookouts they favor. Even in the dense center of the city, there’s room for growth: Raised beds on the compact roof deck at Curran House in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District overflow with favored plants tended by residents.


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238 Individual scale. We find ways to invite people to add personality and claim a building as their own. While the focus in large buildings is often on community space, rich lives take place behind each apartment door. At the threshold between private and public zones, make space for people to express themselves and distinguish their homes.

A simple way to do this is to paint apartment doors in a range of colors, differentiating a resident’s home from that of a neighbor. A more interactive version is to inset front doors to create small nooks where residents can place shelves, plants, or other objects for display in the hall. Outside, balconies, patios, and stoops can extend this type of engagement out into the larger world.

Ideally, a building resonates with the residents and encourages them to contribute their unique personality to the vibe of the larger place.

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At Mayfield Place, affordable apartments have balconies for seating, plants, and other personal expressions. The building offers ground-floor storage for bikes, preserving these private outdoor spaces for active personal use.

Unit entries and stoops are set off with colorful doors and room for personal objects and expression.

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Visible from blocks away, a towering mural of a bright, reaching wildflower sets the tone for the new community it adorns. The site-specific “Taking Root” mural functions at two scales: It serves as a grand icon for the new community, and it reflects a more intimate link between the current residents and the history and promise of the site. About 40 miles south of San Francisco, Station Center Family Housing was the pioneer building in a master plan for Union City that envisioned sustainable mixed-use housing, spaces for local businesses, and pedestrian-friendly streets clustered around a public-transit hub. The new affordable community rejuvenated a dormant site that had been damaged by industrial pollution and stripped bare by the soil remediation process. As construction on the new housing neared completion, muralist Mona Caron spotted the first lone wildflower sprouting on barren land nearby— a tiny common fiddleneck that would lend meaning to the mural she envisioned. Known for her monumental, community-specific works, Mona took inspiration from this plucky little plant—a symbol of resilience— and made it the star of a five-story art piece on the building’s prominent stair tower. In contrast to the giant scale of the wildflower, a smaller second part of the mural unfurls at eye level. Here, the roots of the plant represent the new roots put down by the mostly immigrant families who found a new home in the building. Mona reached out to residents to bring them into the visioning and painting process. A group of kids came up with the idea of writing greetings in every language spoken within the community. As work began on this “rooted” portion of the mural, residents stopped by to contribute words of welcome in their languages. Some wrote them on a piece of paper to be copied onto the wall, others painted theirs directly on the wall themselves. In addition to these international roots, there are two small scenes feeding into and flowing out from the giant wildflower. The first recognizes the history of the site—including indigenous inhabitants, the river steamship “The Union” that gave Union City its name, and the area’s gladiola fields and factories. The other—again with the help of the building’s resident kids—casts a vision for a bright and bustling future for the growing neighborhood. In the words of nine-year-old resident Elias, whose family hails from Morocco, “Everyone here has roots in different parts of the world, and together we grow and blossom as a community.”

“Taking Root” Honors Past, Present, and Future




Like any all-star team, the 9 Ways add up to something greater than their individual impacts. Each powerful on its own, they really shine when used together to elevate the experience of a building.

This framework guides our design process, and we find it equally applicable across typologies, scales, and regions. While not every Way is represented in every project, all of our designs are informed by these principles and the possibilities they represent. Although we have separated them for this manual, their potency is cumulative: They have the greatest impact when layered and interlaced to form a complex and cohesive design. While you may not incorporate all of them into your project, keeping these principles in mind—as an inspiration and guide— will absolutely result in a better building. Use them to make great housing for people.

249 Reweave the Urban Fabric Make Big Moves A Little Goes a Long Way Activate the Edges Be GetArtEnlightenedCultivateWelcomingConnectionCirculationforAllPersonal

DBA was honored as the 2020 Firm of the Year by the American Institute of Architects California and is one of the first architecture firms to achieve a Just Label from the International Living Future Institute’s social justice platform promoting equity, diversity, and transparency. As a long-time signatory of the AIA 2030 Commitment, the firm is working toward achieving a net-zero portfolio and leading the housing industry to deeply rethink design and construction practices, with the goal of providing homes as sanctuary and addressing climate disruption collectively.

dbarchitect.com Appendix 2 1

250 DavidAuthorsBaker Architects is a mission-driven architecture and urban design firm that creates acclaimed buildings and communities in diverse environments. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area and Birmingham, Alabama, DBA is known for exceptional housing, creative site strategies, designing for density, and making peoplecentered places that uplift communities at all scales.

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Amanda Loper, AIA, LEED AP, is a Principal at David Baker Architects. Amanda established and leads DBA_BHM, the firm’s southeastern office in Birmingham, Alabama. Amanda works across the country to help diverse cities effectively address their affordable housing crises and to enhance urban livability. In 2021, she was recognized with an AIA Young Architects Award, which honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.

David Baker, FAIA, LEED AP, founded David Baker Architects in 1982 and is considered an industry leader in urban housing design.

David was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in 1996, and in 2009 received the Hearthstone BUILDER Humanitarian Award honoring the 30 most influential people in the housing industry of the past 30 years. Along with his partner, Yosh Asato, he is a founder of StoreFrontLab, a participatory space in San Francisco that explores the storefront as a place of community, creativity, and local industry.

5. Zero Cottage: David Baker’s sustainability test case and custom home in the Mission District in San Francisco.

3. Custom bricks hand-made by David Baker, as de Bakker Clay, to be integrated into the facade of 555 Larkin Street, affordable housing in San Francisco.

4. Aluminum signage by DBA_Workshop, ready to be powder-coated and mounted above the door at DBA_OAK, our Oakland office.

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2. A 2019 portrait of the DBA staff in Daggett Plaza at Potrero 1010 in San Francisco.

1. The office’s Dutch Bakfiets cargo bike, used to bring drawing sets to the planning department and hold iced beer at parties.

Daniel Simons, FAIA, LEED AP, is a Principal at David Baker Architects. Daniel works to advance the practice of bringing sustainability standards to affordable and modular housing, with cutting-edge designs that include San Francisco’s first LEED New Construction Silver building and California’s first LEED for Neighborhood Development Gold plan. In 2018, Daniel was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows, recognizing his exceptional work and contributions to architecture and society.

David Baker Architects Staff, 1982–2022 253 2022 DBA Staff Katie SallyCristinaAnneJasonAvaKevinJanineJosieAbelJoelMeghanKateAmandaJacquelineMichaelCarleyPaolaAaronChandlerWonNaliniPhilBarrettDawnBrettChelseaBethanyJakeKatieEckartMaliaOrrinEricGavinBillyErinPedramStephenTaylorJulieWaltBrookeJordanAkimaWillTomDavidBryanSarahAckerlyAhmadzaiAlcornBakerBliskaBloomerBrackeenByrnesCalhounCarterdeJesusDearingerLairdDohertyFarashbandiFeeneyForrestFraserGellmanGoldsbyGomezGraeveHuangInserraJohnsonJohnsonRandallJonesKangKarberKarczewskiKhatriYoungKimKowaliczkoLandrithLariLeckieLewandowskiLinLoperMazadeMcAllisterMillarM.MoralesMorganMwenjaNeilanNourbaranPelaezRiggsRossiA.T.Roth Mark LuisGarrettSophieJaneBryanJasonSameenaGyanJosephSherryBrookJuliannaEdAndyChrisAmitMikeLarkKimberlyMarcMichelleJohnPeggyWadeLeonardRyanGenniferFarzadPatrickJeffreyBrittanyJaneSaraKevinAndrePadmaPeterSarahJoshJasonBradPatrickJoeChristineSprinzaAnneChristopherLisaMasayeDulcieHoganHorwitzHoshideHowlettHumesJamesKatzKieslingLambertLancasterLeibinLindemuthLobelLueckMacKenzieMahadevanMandelMarkarianMaeMartensMartinMcCallMcGrewMcKinleyMoreMuñozMurphyNgNolanOlsonOnkenPeckhamPembrokePerettePienPitlerC.PricePatelRemediosRodgersRufinoSassamanSchneiderShannonSilverSinghSitabkhanSlettenSloanSnyderStewart-BlochStoneSuarezMelissa Sandoval Staci SvetaLauraJonasIreneChristineTylerJessicaCarolineSusanMarcellIsabelleDanielSelingerSimonsSmeallSnodgrassSonSouzaSteeleStevermerThorntonUngWeberWilliamsZoryna Emeritus Lisamarie Abdelmalek Virginia Alexander Marcos Ancinas Jake TimothyGalenBrandiStephenMatthewMayumiMariRockyArmanDorisKellySuzetteJasonBritSaidjonIanSophiaYesJenniferElizabethKuanJaneJeffRitaMichaelDewittMiaDannyBrandonCarolinaScottBaileyBaltimoreBarnesBaunachBenjaminBhimaniBrockBrownBurgessBurrisChanChangCohn-MartinDowlandDuffyDulukDunnEghbalEppersonEtheridgeGonzalesGregoryGuerreroHadilouHanishHansenHaraHebertHegedusHendersonHillRossHill Bradley Sugarman Taeko EricaLorenaKevinAliseVladimirUrmilaDanielleGeordieElaineMayaCharlesAnneJohnAngelaAngelineTakagiTellermanThomasonThompsonTorneyTrapolinTuveUangVanDerBoschVelascoVenkateshVladWadeWilcockYamamotoZitzke


This254 manual is the result of many people’s hard work, collaboration, and best thinking—not only over the course of producing this book but also in the consistently thoughtful conception, design, and construction of thousands of homes and dozens of buildings and urban Specialspaces.thanks to our book team: Jessica Steele, who articulates the accessible voice and vision of DBA like no one else; Kate Mazade for jumping in with a fresh perspective; and Jeremy Mende, Stephanie Potter Corwin, and Isabelle Smeall of MendeDesign, whose sustained dedication and brilliant work have taken this project to the next level.

Extra appreciation for these DBA folks who particularly helped refine our thoughts for publication: Katie Ackerly, AIA, LEED AP, CPHC; Brett Randall Jones, AIA, LEED AP; Caroline Souza, AIA, LEED GA; and Laura Williams, AIA, LEED AP ND. Gratitude to friends and advisers Yosh Asato and Kenneth Caldwell for ongoing and invaluable sage insight. Heartfelt thanks to these wonderful contributors whose words and images helped create the framework for and feeling of this book: John J. Parman and Elizabeth Snowden for getting us off the starting blocks; Allison Arieff (foreword), whose work in the world inspires and provokes us forward; Emeric Kennard (graphic-novel illustrations) for helping tell our stories so compassionately; photographers Bruce Damonte and Brian Rose for their keen eyes; and Stephanie Cheung of small.family (scaled figures) for populating the pages of “Get Personal” with delightful life. Thanks also to Kirby Anderson at ORO Editions. Above all, we would like to express our deep appreciation for our clients, collaborators, and creative staff over the years. Making buildings—and books!—takes a long time, and it is wonderful to spend that time working with kind, visionary, talented, and dedicated people.

Developer: Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation Landscape Architect: GLS Landscape | Architecture dbarchitect.com/222Taylor 300 Ivy, San Francisco Developer: Pocket Development Landscape Architect: Fletcher Studio dbarchitect.com/300Ivy 388 Fulton, San Francisco Developer: 7x7 Development Landscape Architect: GLS Landscape | Architecture dbarchitect.com/388Fulton 855 Brannan, San Francisco Developer: Equity Residential Landscape Architect: CMG Landscape Architecture dbarchitect.com/855Brannan 888 Seventh Street, San Francisco Developer: A.F. Evans Landscape Architect: SMITH+SMITH dbarchitect.com/888SeventhStreet

1500 Park Avenue Lofts, Emeryville, California Developer: Holliday Development Landscape Architect: Miller Company Landscape Architects dbarchitect.com/1500ParkAvenueLofts

Developer: MV Jackson Landscape Architect: CMG Landscape Architecture dbarchitect.com/200SecondStreet


200 Second Street, Oakland, California

A2 Apartments, Baltimore, Maryland Developers: Bozzuto Group, War Horse Cities, Solstice Partners Executive Architect: Maurice Walters LandscapeArchitectArchitect: Mahan Rykiel Associates dbarchitect.com/A2 Armstrong Place Senior Apartments, San Francisco

Developer: BRIDGE Housing Associate Architect: Full Circle Design LandscapeGroupArchitect: Adrienne Wong Associates dbarchitect.com/ArmstrongSenior Bayview Hill Gardens, San Francisco Developers: Mercy Housing California, The Providence Foundation Landscape Architects: INTERSTICE Architects, Rebar/Gehl dbarchitect.com/BayviewHillGardens Bini’s Kitchen, San Francisco Developers: Binita Pradhan, La Cocina dbarchitect.com/BinisKitchen Blueprint Building, Birmingham, Alabama Developer: Sloss Real Estate LandscapeMacknallyArchitect:LandDesign dbarchitect.com/BlueprintBuilding Clock Tower Lofts, San Francisco Developer: Holliday Development Landscape Architect: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture dbarchitect.com/ClocktowerLofts Crescent Cove, San Francisco Developers: Related California, Chinatown Community Development Center Landscape Architect: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture dbarchitect.com/CrescentCove Curran House, San Francisco Developer: Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation Landscape Architect: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture dbarchitect.com/CurranHouse


222 Taylor, San Francisco

Associate Architect: G7A Landscape Architect: GLS Landscape | Architecture dbarchitect.com/Five88 Folsom & Dore Apartments, San Francisco Developer: Citizens Housing Corporation Associate Architect: Baker Vilar Architects Landscape Architect: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture dbarchitect.com/FolsomDore Foundry Commons, San Jose, California

Five88, San Francisco Developers: Related California, Chinatown Community Development Center

Developer: Domus Development Landscape Architect: Fletcher Studio dbarchitect.com/LaValentinaStation Lee Walker Heights, Asheville, North Carolina Developers: Asheville Housing Authority, Mountain Housing Opportunities

Dr. George W. Davis Senior Residence and Senior Center, San Francisco Developers: McCormack Baron Salazar, Bayview Senior Services Associate Architect: MWA Architects Landscape Architect: Miller Company Landscape Architects dbarchitect.com/DrGeorgeDavis Edwina Benner Plaza, Sunnyvale, California




AssociateCervantesArchitect:Design Associates Landscape Architect: GLS Landscape | Architecture dbarchitect.com/LaFenix Lakeside Senior Apartments, Oakland, California Developers: Satellite Affordable Housing Associates, Oakland Housing Authority Landscape Architect: PGAdesign dbarchitect.com/LakesideSenior La Valentina Station, Sacramento, California

Developer: Cityview Associate Architect: Baker Vilar Architects Landscape Architect: Fletcher Studio

h2hotel, Healdsburg, California Developer: Piazza Hospitality Landscape Architect: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture dbarchitect.com/H2Hotel Harmon Guest House, Healdsburg, California Developer: Piazza Hospitality Landscape Architect: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture dbarchitect.com/HarmonGuestHouse

Hunters View Affordable Housing, San Francisco Developer: The John Stewart Company Co-Architect: Paulett Taggart Architects Landscape Architect: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture dbarchitect.com/901Fairfaxdbarchitect.com/848Fairfax

Developer: MidPen Housing Landscape Architect: Fletcher Studio

Ironhorse at Central Station, Oakland, California Developer: BRIDGE Housing Landscape Architect: PGAdesign dbarchitect.com/IronhorseAffordable Jeni’s Ice Cream, Birmingham, Alabama Developer: Sloss Real Estate dbarchitect.com/JenisIceCream La Fénix at 1950 Mission, San Francisco Developers: BRIDGE Housing, Mission Housing Development Corporation

Executive Architect: McMillan Pazdan Smith LandscapeArchitectureArchitect: Sitework Studios dbarchitect.com/LeeWalkerHeights Mabuhay Court, San Jose, California Developers: BRIDGE Housing, City of San Jose Department of Housing Landscape Architect: PGAdesign dbarchitect.com/MabuhayCourt

dbarchitect.com/MayfieldPlace OME at 1178 Folsom, San Francisco Developer: Erik Liu Landscape Architect: Surfacedesign dbarchitect.com/OME Onizuka Crossing, Sunnyvale, California Developer: MidPen Housing Landscape Architect: PGAdesign dbarchitect.com/OnizukaCrossing Pacific Cannery Lofts, Oakland, California Developer: Holliday Development Landscape Architect: Miller Company Landscape Architects


Mason on Mariposa, San Francisco Developer: Related California Executive Architect: Ankrom Moisan Co-Design Architect: BAR Architects Landscape Architect: Fletcher Studio

SPARC-It-Place, Oakland, California Developer: EBALDC dbarchitect.com/SPARCItPlace Station Center Family Housing, Union City, California

Developer: Housing Authority of the City of ExecutiveCharlestonArchitect:McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, Eddie Bello Landscape Architect: Wertimer + Cline dbarchitect.com/WilliamsTerrace Zero Cottage, San Francisco

Rincon Green, San Francisco Developer: Emerald Fund Executive Architect: Christiani Johnson LandscapeArchitectsArchitect: Cliff Lowe Associates dbarchitect.com/RinconGreen

Developers: LandscapeWindflowerCityview,PropertiesArchitect:April

Mayfield Place, Palo Alto, California Developers: Related California, Stanford Research Park Landscape Architect: GLS Landscape | Architecture

dbarchitect.com/UnionFlats Williams Terrace, Charleston, South Carolina


Developer: Oakland Housing Authority Landscape Architect: PGAdesign dbarchitect.com/Tassafaronga

Developer: David Baker Landscape Architect: Fletcher Studio dbarchitect.com/ZeroCottage


Developer: MidPen Housing Landscape Architect: Fletcher Studio dbarchitect.com/StationCenter Tahanan Supportive Housing, San Francisco

Developers: Mercy Housing California, Tipping Point Community Landscape Architect: Fletcher Studio dbarchitect.com/Tahanan Tassafaronga Village, Oakland, California

The Rivermark, West Sacramento, California Developer: BRIDGE Housing Landscape Architect: Fletcher Studio dbarchitect.com/Rivermark Saint Frank Roastery, San Francisco Developer: Saint Frank Coffee dbarchitect.com/SaintFrankRoastery

Philips Design Works

The Union Flats, Union City, California

Pacific Pointe Apartments, San Francisco Developers: AMCAL Multi-Housing, Young Community Developers Associate Architect/Landscape Architect: INTERSTICE Architects dbarchitect.com/PacificPointe Potrero 1010, San Francisco Developer: Equity Residential Landscape Architect: CMG Landscape Architecture dbarchitect.com/Potrero1010 Richardson Apartments, San Francisco Developers: Community Housing Partnership, Mercy Housing California Associate Architect: Baker Vilar Architects Landscape Architect: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture dbarchitect.com/RichardsonApartments

258 For more information about images, contact info@dbarchitect.com.

MendeDesign: 54–55, 78–79, 102–103, 128–129, 174–175, 198–199

DavidArtworksBaker: 18, 251 Jen Bloomer/Radici Studios: 217 Christopher Elliman: 210 Allura Fong: 210 Wendy Heldmann: 211 Selene Perez: 210, 211 Ethel Revita: 210, 214 Xavier Schmidt: 211 Hung Kei Shiu: 211, 214 Gerald Wiggins: 211 Marilyn Wong: 210 Photographs All photographs by Bruce Damonte (brucedamonte.com) except as noted: Patrik Argast: 127, 136–137, 147, 182–183, 184 Bernard W. Baker: 12 Keith Baker Photography: 94–95, 257 Marion Brenner: 172 Mona Caron/Nick Kasimatis: 240 Cayer Photography: 256 CMG Landscape Architecture: 172 Craig Cozart Photography: 257 Creativity Explored: 214 David Baker Architects: 13, 17, 69, 89, 92, 96, 119, 139, 155, 210, 233, 234, 237, 238, 242, 252, 255, 256, 257 Kris Decker/Firewater Photography: 230–231, 257 Matt Edge Photo + Motion: 155, 203, 207, 221, 236 Josh Egel: 233 Maria Jesus Errazuriz: 10–11 David D. Fenton: 166 Anne Hamersky: 232, 251 Images Brian Haux/Skyhawk Photography: 47 Treve Johnson Photography: 49, 140–141 Brett Randall Jones: 51, 146, 257 Dennis Letbetter: 143 Luker Photography & Video: 48, 50, 74, 75, 110, 126, 172, 176–177, 178, 255, 256 Gabrielle Lurie: 223 Julio César Martínez: 163, 233, 245 Ken McLaughlin/San Francisco Chronicle/ Polaris: 22–23 Nina Menconi: 214 Matthew Millman: 26, 33, 35, 89, 111, 120, 163, 252, 257 Michelle Park Photography: 200–201, 203, 204, 256, 257 Jim Pire: 68 Adam Potts Photography: 193 Proehl Studios: 24, 43 Reenie Raschke: 96 Mariko Reed: 93, 110, 122, 132, 138, 154, 160–161, 188, 192, 194, 196, 216, 217, 234, 239, 255, 256, 257 Brian Rose: 30–31, 34, 46, 68, 91, 224, 225, 237, 255, 256, 257 Cesar Rubio Photography: 255, 256 Sergio Ruiz: 6–7, 8–9 Stephen Searer: 250 Rien van Rijthoven: 68, 257 Paul Warchol Photography: 69, 111, 255

EmericIllustrationsKennard: 20–21, 29, 150–151, 161, 171 Stephanie Cheung/small.family: 218–219, 227, 228, 234, 237, 243, 245, 253

Diagrams All diagrams by David Baker Architects.

9 Ways (framework): 7, 8, 15–18, 248 200 Second Street: 255 222 Taylor: 71, 164, 204, 255 300 Ivy: 25, 27, 90, 106, 119, 123, 144, 255 339 Maridell: 19 388 Fulton: 8, 9, 25, 56, 85, 147, 255 555 Larkin Street: 252 855 Brannan: 43, 44, 56, 107, 133, 170, 195, 255 888 Seventh Street: 46, 255 1500 Park Avenue Lofts: 142, 255 A2 Apartments: 255 Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm: 167 Adaptive re-use: 35 Adjacencies: 151, 155, 158, 162, 164

By the People (exhibit): 16, 19 Café Milano: 19 Carlisle, Kelly: 166, 167 Caron, Mona (artist): 241 Ceilings: 92, 137 Central Freeway: 25 Circulation: 39, 75, 158, 161, 175, 178, 179, 185, 188, 194, 197 Charleston Single House (typology): 179, 230 Choay, Françoise: 13 Le Corbusier: 13 Cladding:Cement plaster: 82 Hardwood: 56, 82, 94, 98 Weathering steel: 83 Zinc: 56, 82, 90 Clock Tower Lofts: 19, 255 Color: 99, 125, 202, 204, 213, 224, 228, 238 Common spaces: 44, 92, 97, 154, 161, 171 Community process: 41, 243, 244 Community gardens: 65, 154, 158, 159, 165, 234, 237 Community uses: 27, 32, 44, 62, 64, 98, 99, 154, 155, 158, 159, 161, 165, 170, 185, 234, 237 Concrete: 92 Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum: 16, 19 Corridors: 86, 178, 185, 188, 189, 194, 238 See: CounselingCirculationsuite:124 Courtyards: 32, 42, 65, 107, 155, 161, 165, 170, 171, 181, 224, 234, 237 Art/murals: 207, 213, 222 Connections to: 123, 124, 132, 133, 137, 144, 145, 147, 154, 158, 159, 161, 163, 164, 170, 181, 185, 189, 194 “Decompression” courtyards: 137, 144, 145 Views to/into: 124, 125, 133, 135, 142, 144, 163, 164, 165, 181, 188 Creativity Explored (art studio): 215 Crescent Cove: 255 Curran House: 237, 256 Custom elements: 85, 86, 92, 96, 97, 99, 144, 147, 234, 252

259 Index Building features: Form: 55 Height: 106 Mass/massing: 42, 64, 65, 75, 185 Performance: 71, 86 Staff/management: 41, 132, 142, 162, 197

Foundry Commons: 202, 203, 204, 256 Garages: 32, 44, 45, 107, 213 Gardens/garden beds: 65, 154, 158, 159, 165, 167, 234, 237 Gates: 132, 133, 144, 145, 147, 228

Doors:Apartment: 234, 238 Custom: 96, 99, 147 Front: 86, 99, 132, 133, 135, 137, 142, 144, 147 K-doors: 96, 97, 144, 147 See: Entries Dr. George W. Davis Senior Residence and Senior Center: 56, 164, 165, 189, 221, 244, 256 Eames, Charles and Ray: 10 Edwina Benner Plaza: 10, 64, 65, 67, 127, 170, 213, 256 Elevators: 178, 185 Elliman, Christopher (artist): 203 Entries: 72, 94, 106, 121, 127, 129, 132, 133, 135, 142, 144, 145, 147, 165, 197, 227 Entry sequences: 127, 144, 145 See: EvaluatingDoorsspaces: 197 Facades: 66, 83, 90, 179, 230 Fences: 147 Fireclay Tile: 85 Fischer, Chris (artisan): 96 Five88: 82, 127, 132, 137, 155, 161, 185, 256

Fletcher Studio: 213 Flex units/flex commercial: 116, 117 Focal points: 50, 82 Folsom & Dore Apartments: 19, 256

David Baker Architects (DBA): 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 19, 250, 252, 264 DBA offices/locations: 14, 19, 252 DBA_Workshop: 14, 92, 96, 99, 252 DBA staff: 253 Density: 29, 30, 32, 35, 47, 71, 75, 144, 215 Design inspiration (cultural): 56, 221, 222, 227, 228, 229 Display shelves: 234, 238

Graphics:Environmental/wall: 204, 213, 215, 224 Window: 124, 202, 227 Gropius, Walter: 10 Ground floor: Height: 27, 46, 106, 112, 113, 116, 119, 120, 121, 123 Uses: 27, 103, 106, 107, 112, 113, 116, 117, 119, 121, 123, 127, 144, 238

AIA COTE Top 10: 10 Aidlin Darling Design: 106 All-electric: 10 Arieff, Allison (foreword): 6, 11 Armstrong Place Senior Apartments: 90, 222, 224, 237, 255 Art budgets: 202, 207, 213, 215 Artisans: 96 Artists/artist groups: 97, 202, 203, 204, 206, 207, 215, 217, 228, 229 Art/artworks: 199, 202, 203, 204, 206, 207, 213, 215, 217, 229, 234, 241 See: Murals Art programs: 207, 215 Arts & Architecture Magazine: 13 Automobiles, cars: 23, 42, 44 Baker, Bernard W.: 13, 19 Baker, David: 13, 19, 252 Balconies: 122, 163, 238 Bays: 59, 82, 85, 90, 94 Bayview Hill Gardens: 135, 155, 159, 165, 203, 207, 221, 223, 227, 237, 255 Benches: 145, 147, 163 See: Bicycles:Seating 252 Lanes: 42 Parking/storage: 50, 119, 142, 144, 147, 238 Bini’s Kitchen: 217, 255 Biophilia: 197 Block size: 42 Bloomer, Jen (artist): 217 Blueprint Building: 127, 255 Bockelman, Jennifer (artist): 204 Breezeways/bridges: 178, 181, 188, 194, 195 Budgets: 44, 82, 202, 207, 213, 215

Trombe wall: 19 UC Berkeley: 13, 19 Union Flats (The): 10, 98, 132 Unique Boutique: 244 Urban agriculture: 167 See: Gardens Urban fabric: 21, 23 Usonian house: 19 Vidalon, Ana Maria (artist): 204 Views/visual connections: 64, 65, 90, 125, 142, 145, 147, 158, 164, 170, 179, 181, 185, 188, 191, 194, 197, 234 Wayfinding: 199, 203, 207 Wiggins, Gerald (artist): 203 Williams, Latonia (resident): 223 Williams Terrace: 75, 178, 230, 257 Windows: 65, 164, 165, 188, 194 See: Graphics Wong, Marilyn (artist): 206 Zero Cottage: 252, 257

See: StationCirculationCenterFamily Housing: 72, 154, 257 Stoops: 121, 122, 123, 163, 238 Streets:Grid:29, 38, 167

Site-planning exercises: 242, 243 Spaghetti House: 19 SPARC-It-Place: 51, 257 Stairs: 86, 159, 163, 175, 178, 191, 241 Open-air/green stair: 159, 161, 163, 181, 189, 191

Roofs, green/living/planted: 98, 185 Saint Frank Roastery: 257 Seating: 32, 50, 106, 107, 119, 121, 142, 144, 145, 154, 155, 158, 163, 164, 165, 207, 213 Benches: 145, 147, 163

Pepper Place: 50 Personal expression: 219, 221, 238 Perforated screens: 228 Phase Zero: 51 Podiums: 45, 161, 185, 194 Porches: 75, 178, 179 Potrero 1010: 52, 76, 158, 188, 194, 252, 257 Pradhan, Bini: 217 Prieto, Paco (artisan): 96 Privacy: 99, 122, 123, 124, 125, 135, 202 Private space: 9, 133, 161, 238 Semi-private space: 65, 123, 134, 161 Property line: 25, 106, 119, 121, 127

Prototyping: 14, 96 Prouvé, Jean: 10 Public parks: 52, 76, 82, 158, 167, 243 Public realm: 23, 107, 119, 121, 123, 132, 145 Q Zone: 121 Radici Studios: 217 Rebar Studio: 237 Reception desks: 86, 203 Residential entries: 82, 94, 106, 127, 129, 132, 133, 135, 137, 142, 144, 145, 147 Retail: 27, 46, 72, 106, 112, 113, 116, 117, 119, 121

Shared Evaluation Walk: 197 Shiu, Hung Kei (artist): 206 Shutters: 179 Sidewalks:Edges:23, 42, 65, 106, 112, 113, 119, 121, 123, 125, 127, 142, 144, 202

260 H2hotel: 119, 256 Habitat for Humanity: 35 Harmon Guest House: 256 Hallways: 86, 178, 185, 188, 189, 194, 238 See: Circulation “Hot pepper” opportunities: 46, 47 Housing stability: 223, 244 Human-scale blocks: 42 Hunters View Affordable Housing: 99, 125, 185, 256

Richardson Apartments: 8, 9, 19, 25, 27, 56, 82, 124, 163, 213, 257 Rincon Green: 257 Rivermark (The): 194, 257 Roof decks: 65, 170, 234, 237

Simons, Daniel: 12, 252 Single-family housing: 9 Site:Circulation: 32, 39 Evaluation: 37, 38, 197 Restoration: 25, 127

Lighting: 50 Width: 42 Streetscape: 42, 44, 50, 103, 107, 125 Sunshades: 65, 86 Sustainability: 10, 13, 14, 15, 30, 252

Tahanan Supportive Housing: 10, 257 Tassafaronga Village: 10, 14, 30, 32, 35, 167, 257 Traffic-calming: 32, 42, 144

Identity:Community: 221, 222, 224, 228 Personal: 219, 221, 238 Visual: 59, 66, 71, 82, 199, 204, 207, 215 Indoor environment: 64, 197 Interim use: 51 INTERSTICE Architects: 207 Ironhorse at Central Station: 244, 256 Jeni’s Ice Cream Pavilion: 50, 256 K-doors: 96, 97, 144, 147 Kimmelman, Michael: 15 La Fénix at 1950 Mission: 203, 228, 256 Lakeside Senior Apartments: 10, 62, 64, 65, 122, 234, 155, 142, 256 Landings: 163, 185 See: LaundryCirculationrooms:154, 155, 158, 164, 185 La Valentina Station: 191, 202, 256 LEED: 10, 19, 30 Lee Walker Heights: 38, 39, 256 Lewin, Isaac S. (artist): 202 Lobbies: 119, 132, 133, 135, 144, 145, 147, 155, 159, 202, 204, 234 Loper, Amanda: 12, 252 Mabuhay Court: 163, 256 Market & Octavia Area Plan: 25 Mason on Mariposa: 257 Mass/massing: 42, 64, 65, 75, 185 Materials:Aluminum: 90, 252 Cement plaster: 82, 83 Concrete: 92, 96, 222 Glass:Colored: 99, 124, 133, 202, 227 Transparency: 133, 144, 145, 147, 164, 188 Premium: 79 Steel, weathering: 82, 83, 92, 147, 228 Tile: 59, 85, 94 Wood: 92, 94, 96, 98, 121, 137, 144 Mayfield Place: 92, 94, 238, 257 Mid-block passages: 42, 43, 123 Midway Village: 243 Modular/factory-built: 10, 98 Murals: 203, 204, 213, 217, 229, 241 New Shelter Magazine: 19 New York Times: 15, 19 Nooks: 86, 90, 238 Oakland Housing Authority: 30 OME at 1178 Folsom: 19, 257 Onizuka Crossing: 257 Open space: 23, 38, 45, 46, 47, 71, 154 Outdoor space: 38, 44, 64, 65, 123, 137, 142, 170, 178, 185, 197, 238 Pacassa Studios (artisan): 96 Pacific Cannery Lofts: 142, 257 Pacific Pointe Apartments: 123, 147, 158, 181, 207, 257 Papel picado: 228 Parking: 32, 44, 45, 112, 113 Ratios: 45 Patios: 123, 238 Pattern: 92, 125, 202, 224, 227 Pedestrian experience: 14, 42, 65, 106, 107, 119, 121, 125, 127, 142, 144, 202, 241

Lighting/illumination: 125, 202 Plantings: 50, 121, 122, 125, 127 Width: 42, 106, 119, 121, 144 Signage: 119, 121, 147, 252

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