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David Baker’s S.F. Senior Complex Is Not Your Father’s Old Folks Home

David Baker’s S.F. Senior Complex Is Not Your Father’s Old Folks Home

Where do you want to retire? If I had to venture a guess, I’d say not suburban Florida. If you’re like the growing number of Baby Boomer retirees, you want to be in a city, close to public transportation, and near amenities like grocery stores. Armstrong Senior Housing, a new complex designed by David Baker + Partners in San Francisco’s Bayview district, offers all that and then some, with four levels of affordable senior apartments atop ground-level retail, a community center, and a library. Best of all, it’s being built alongside a family townhouse development, so senior residents won’t be living in isolation; the projects are separated by a landscaped public pedestrian way.

Located within walking distance of the Third Street Rail, the new Muni line, the 116 rental residences (predominantly studios and one-bedrooms) surround a courtyard wrapped in blocks of colors — indigo, brown, orange, and yellow drawn from traditional African textiles to reflect the historically African-American population of the neighborhood. The landscaping, which includes vegetated bioswales and a courtyard rain garden, not only provides healthy patches of green space but creates mini wetlands that manage storm-water runoff, easing the burden on the city’s sewage system. Other green features: photovoltaic arrays that will provide solar electric power and domestic hot water, a car-share pod with two available vehicles, as well as secure bicycle parking. The architects are shooting for LEED Gold.

Senior-Home

[The courtyard features a wall inset with Ashanti tribal symbols for security, wisdom, power, love, unity, and hope.]

A HUD 202 project, Armstrong will offer rents from $0–$635 per month, with qualifying income levels below 50% of the area median income and some units reserved for formerly homeless seniors. For more information, go here.

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