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Layers of Listening in Affordable Housing Design

Wednesday, September 21 | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

2060 Folsom Street

AIA Member: $20 | General: $35 | Student: $10


Join design team members, community organizers and project sponsors for a panel discussion on the process that led to the creation of Casa Adelante at 2060 Folsom, a mixed-use building with 127 permanently affordable homes. Learn about the history of the site and how the community vision was honored throughout the phases of the project.

Located in San Francisco’s Mission District, Casa Adelante at 2060 Folsom is the result of decades of community-based planning and political advocacy. In the late 1990s, with minimal community input, a wave of high-tech offices and market-rate housing displaced low-income residents and small businesses. Alarmed by the lack of community voice in the planning process, nonprofits MEDA, Mission Housing, Mission Agenda and PODER formed the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition (MAC) to engage neighbors in workshops to articulate their vision for their neighborhood. The design process at Casa Adelante at 2060 Folsom sprang from this effort, and continued this ‘framework of listening’ through the project’s design process—listening to continued community conversations, and listening for the design cues embedded in the site’s ecological history. The result is a series of joyful outdoor spaces that demonstrate how affordable housing landscapes can be a vehicle for multiple benefits in the service of equity, sustainability and social spaces, helping define ‘home’ for more than 200 low-income residents.

Building Tour:
Casa Adelente at 2060 Folsom makes the most of its urban, park-adjacent site to provide infrastructure for social equity and a low-carbon future. A mixed-use building with 127 permanently affordable homes, the active ground floor offers a mix of resident and community-serving spaces, connected by a mid-block paseo that also provides direct, easy access for residents to the adjacent In Chan Kaajal Park.

• Discuss the opportunities inherent in affordable housing developments adjacent to public open spaces. What are the long-term possibilities for this relationship in future city-scale planning? Review the opportunities that emerged on the mid-block paseo, which combines park access, pedestrian connectivity, and green stormwater.

• Design team will share insights on the importance of unpacking historic latent ecology to better understand contemporary design solutions, particularly in the ground level courtyard space that combines green stormwater and informal play.

• Discuss the crucial inside-outside connections between the resident courtyard, four on-site services offices and the main resident community room, and the open-air corridor. Has the adjacency altered how residents engage with services?

• Review art installations and discuss the Mission’s rich history of public art and how that impacted interior design considerations.

• Visit the 8th floor roof deck, with custom shade canopy and framed distant views, to further understand the Mission District context. Also, discuss the importance of providing a range of experience for affordable housing residents, particularly in space constrained urban infill developments.

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