Freeing up the Freeway

Nick Myall
Tuesday 13 Sep 2016

A new San Francisco residential development that features a central mews providing shade and green space for residents

400 Grove in San Francisco, USA, by Fougeron Architecture introduces 34 residences in the heart of Hayes Valley, continuing the neighbourhood’s rise as a vital, walkable neighbourhood. Its prominent site at the corner of Grove and Gough streets, is one of several sites created by the removal of the Central Freeway in 2003, as part of a bold initiative to reconnect Hayes Valley with surrounding neighbourhoods. 400 Grove’s design references the central mews typology, which set row houses around an internal alley that provided car access as well as a place where neighbours can meet. 

This contemporary take replaces the alley with a landscaped common area accessible only to bicycles and pedestrians, strengthening the community focus of the open space. Its faceted facades echo an earlier tradition: the classic San Francisco bay windows prevalent in the area. The facets angle windows capturing views of Hayes Valley’s bustling street scene and surrounding hillside neighbourhoods. Most of the studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom residences have light from two sides and an individual expression from the street, with the amenities associated with urban living. 

Completed in early 2016, 400 Grove residents enjoy the advantages of Hayes Valley’s central location and easy access to major public transit stops, Civic Centre arts venues, and other neighbourhoods including the Mission District, the Castro, and the Mid-Market district. 400 Grove employs a variety of sustainable strategies. All units are designed with windows on more than one façade providing adequate light and ventilation thereby reducing energy loads and wood dowels are incorporated on every façade.

Nick Myall

News editor

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United States

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