Infill developers often are admonished not to harm older buildings during construction. For Mission Walk, the challenge was tiptoeing (and scaffolding) around a host of pristine new structures, sidewalks, and planters. As the last two puzzle pieces on Berry Street, the twin buildings completed the latest phase of San Francisco’s large-scale Mission Bay urban redevelopment effort. Both are LEED Silver–certified with proximity to transit and retail, and together, they provide 131 units of affordable housing for families earning 80 percent to 120 percent of the area median income.
Social and environmental agendas notwithstanding, they’re also great looking buildings in their own right. Abstractly reminiscent of nearby row homes, commercial structures, and houseboats, the stucco façades are crisscrossed with cement board for texture, and activated by generous windows, balconies, and bays. Structured above-ground parking is hidden behind a perimeter of first-floor townhouses in each building, and both residences offer views of the adjacent Mission Creek Park, a linear promenade with jogging trails, a kayak launch, and outdoor recreation areas.
The location isn’t hilly by San Francisco standards, but it did come with some hidden concerns. “The site was actually pretty flat,” says Kim Nash, a project manager for BRIDGE Housing, “but the foundations have piles going down almost 200 feet because the soil is expected to settle over the next 50 years.”