San Francisco 1905-2020

Educational Project - Advanced Studio
B.Arch - CCA - SP 2015
Instructors:  Andrew Kudless (MATSYS Design)
Mark Hogan (Markasaurus)

Associates: Anh Vu - Truong Nguyen

Project Description:
Urban Codes | Building Codes | Housing

San Francisco suffers from an identity crisis. Internationally known for it perennial nurturing of progressive social, political, and technological innovations, it is also conservative in regards to its urban development. Part of this conservatism comes from a desire to protect its historic resources, but there is also an underlying resistance to physical change of any kind. This schism has resulted in a number of problems, the most acute being the current housing crisis.

The project explores alternative San Francisco through the creative application of innovative urban codes. Cities are built manifestations of an evolving body of policies and rules that interact with economic forces to determine where and how they change over time. Although typically prescriptive, the project investigates the generative capacity of code to suggest radical solutions to complex problems. That is, code, in this project, is both a body of rules that inform development as well as a set of procedural techniques that allow for that development’s testing analysis, and generation.

The project focus on a small cross-section of the city (3rd and 4th St) and create an alternative urban code that reimagines the rules that govern conditions such as program, form, and density. As the effects of code are often most apparent over longer durations of time, the project engages time as a critical component of the design process by siting over a one hundred year time period starting soon after the 1906 earthquake and ending in the current day.