Richardson Apartments

Richardson Apartments

"The incredible public spaces are great; [the architects] didn’t give up on or compromise on anything even though it’s affordable.”

Residential Architect Awards Jury


Modern Designs For Affordable Housing: An award winning project in downtown San Francisco

Part of a broader revitalization plan for a dense urban neighborhood, the Richardson Apartments are a premier example of mixed-use affordable housing. The five-story, 65,000-sf project includes 120 studio units for low-income residents, social service and medical office space, common areas, a landscaped courtyard and retail space. The structural system consists of four stories of wood-framed residential space over a podium consisting of reinforced concrete.

Project Highlights

  • The project was one of the first tangible effects of the Market + Octavia Neighborhood Plan, a 2007 master plan that calls for dense, transit-oriented housing over retail and streets geared towards pedestrians and bicyclists rather than cars.
  • A south-facing courtyard is arranged around a mural - a paint-and-glass mosaic of dancers.
  • The courtyard features an open grand staircase that reduces reliance on the elevator and encourages interaction between residents.
  • The retail and office space incorporates social services, including a work-training program for residents and a counseling center.


  • 2012 AIA/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing Design
  • 2012 AIA National Housing Award
  • 2012 ASLA Professional Award of Excellence in Residential Design 2012 Exceptional Residential Bay Area Regional Design Honor Award – AIA East Bay
  • 2012 Gold Nugget Merit Award: Residential Project of the Year – Pacific Coast Builders Conference
  • 2012 Gold Nugget Merit Award: Best Affordable – Pacific Coast Builders Conference
  • 2013 Design Awards – Merit – AIA California Council
San Francisco, California
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