- Sustainable Architecture
- Edwin M. Lee Apartments, affordable living in San Francisco
This 11,500-square-metre building provides 62 apartments for homeless veterans and 57 apartments for low-income families. The complex also includes dedicated services on the ground floor for families, veterans, neighbours, as well as for the neighbourhood's greater community. Because one of the goals for the designers and the associations involved in the initiative was precisely that of integration and interaction, in particular to overcome the stigma associated with homeless people.
Despite the size of the complex, thanks to design solutions as simple as they are effective, the Edwin M. Lee Apartments present themselves in a scale that creates a beautiful welcoming atmosphere, where those who live there can really feel at home. Great attention has been paid to aspects related to ensuring a sustainable lifestyle for the complex' residents, prioritising access to views and daylight. Other important aspects of the intervention concern the generation of alternative energy and connections with nearby public transport. The project develops around a large internal courtyard with a garden that balances a series of different areas intended for various activities: retrospection, interaction and play.
The social sustainability of the Edwin M. Lee Apartments, the first building in San Francisco to combine the two categories â' in other words homeless veterans and low-income families â' is also accompanied by an environmental sustainability aspect. With a GreenPoints Rated Platinum certification, the project includes photovoltaic systems for electricity and panels to heat domestic water, an effective way to reduce the building's operating costs and provide sustainable energy. The GreenPoint Rated standard is a path to demonstrating compliance with reliable environmental standards for a sustainable, efficient, durable and healthier home. The renewable energy system with photovoltaic panels is proudly on display to the public, as well as being an integral feature of the building's design. The project's materials and assembly choices incorporate the principles of biophilic design, while durable materials and well-thought-out details help reduce long-term operating and maintenance costs, without however making any compromises in terms of the building's aesthetics.
Dedicated to the late mayor of San Francisco, the Edwin M. Lee Apartments created thanks to the collaboration between Eddy Maytum Stacy Architects, Saida + Sullivan Design Partners, Swords to Plowshares and the Chinatown Community Development Centre are an important and enduring contribution to his goal of ending homelessness among veterans. Architecture thus becomes an all-inclusive model of social integration, as well as of sustainable architecture.
Prime Architect: Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects
Associate Architect: Saida + Sullivan Design Partners
Co-Developer Clients: Chinatown Community Development Centre (CCDC), Swords to Plowshares
Builder: Nibbi Brothers
Location: San Francisco, US
Images: Bruce Damonte