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 façade 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