David Baker Architects Brings Market-Rate Micro-Units to San Francisco

PROJECT NAME 388 Fulton
LOCATION San Francisco
FIRM David Baker Architects
SQ. FT. 50,000 SQF

All architects are influenced by other buildings, including their own. For a San Francisco building, 388 Fulton, David Baker Architects didn’t have far to look for inspiration. Just across the street stands their Richardson Apartments, studio housing for homeless residents. The design concept for 388 Fulton involved the consideration of how the buildings would relate to each other. “It was the idea of positive and negative forms,” principal David Baker says. “The dichotomy between concave and convex, matte and glossy.” The two forms create a visual frame for City Hall, two blocks away.

388 Fulton faces another building by the same firm. Photography by Bruce Damonte.

For the exterior, DBA used computer analysis to design perforated aluminum sunshades on the facade. Inside, 388 Fulton has the first market-rate micro-units in the city, providing “affordability by design.” Built-in storage beds help to maximize space in those units. Charles de Lisle weighed in on finishes, palette, and common furnishings. Another collaborator, for the project's early phases, was the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco. Indeed, the development funded the neighboring clubhouse.

David Baker Architects also designed the street-facing doughnut shop. Photography by Bruce Damonte.
Computer analysis guided the design of perforated aluminum sunshades. Photography by Bruce Damonte.
The development includes two-bedroom apartments. Photography courtesy of the firm.
Amenities include a secure bike room for residents. Photography courtesy of the firm.
The lobby was designed in collaboration with Charles de Lisle. Photography courtesy of the firm.
The building includes market-rate micro-units. Photography by Tim D. Coy.
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