The Eugene Coleman Community House in San Francisco is much like a slick chameleon: It adapts to its surroundings. One side of this 85-unit affordable senior housing community has a downtown, commercial look with a metal panel aluminum skin, while the opposite façade offers a soft residential feel complete with bay windows, rails, and planters.
“We were trying to respond to the character of both streets—Howard Street being a fairly wide street with heavy traffic, and Tehama is basically a small lane,” says Denis Henmi, executive vice president of Kwan Henmi Architecture/Planning Inc., the San Francisco-based architect.
On the site of a vacant parking lot, the 92,500-square-foot mixed-use building is being developed by TODCO Development, a San Francisco-based nonprofit developer. Since residents will share amenities with adjacent senior communities, a secure walking environment is essential. For added visibility, units overlook the property's pathways. “The main goal was to provide the highest level of visibility as opposed to trying to create a camera security system,” says Henmi.
The Eugene Coleman Community House, expected to open in 2005, features retail and office space, a central courtyard, community room, and dining room. The $19.3 million building is being financed by HUD's Section 202 Elderly Housing Program and the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing. The retail space will be leased at market rents to provide a permanent revenue source to support resident services and activity programs.