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La Fénix at 1950

Crucial affordable housing for families in San Francisco's Mission District.

  • Innovative Design

    Tipping tailored the design of each of the two building's foundations to meet the construction constraints: the Mission building has deep auger-cast piles to avoid impacting the adjacent BART system, whereas the Wiese building is supported on a more budget-friendly mat foundation.

  • Integrated Value

    As an affordable housing project, balancing budget with architectural design was a key concern. The highly efficient PT slab system reduces building weight and accomodates the irregular column layout and articulated facade, as well as key amenity spaces for the community.

We harness our advanced analytics’ capabilities to predict structural behavior and gain key insights to develop optimized, data-driven design solutions—creating real value for clients and building owners.

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We’re hyper-focused on providing useful insights early in the design process to better inform key decisions, control cost, and minimize disruptive surprises. By internalizing project-level goals, we’re better able to help achieve them.

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As industry leaders, we collaborate and innovate to create low-embodied energy, sustainable design solutions that are efficient, cost-effective, and seek to reduce carbon output to minimize construction’s environmental impact.

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We combine innovative design and a collaborative and responsive workflow to deliver tailored, effective, and unexpected seismic design solutions that help protect our clients’ high value investments and facilitate post-earthquake operations.

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Instead of textbook solutions and conventional approaches, we ask deeper questions to unlock possibilities. Through ingenuity and a thoughtful application of engineering first-principles, we develop more responsive and efficient structural designs.

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A collaborative effort among mission-driven grassroots organizations and the developers, this affordable housing project serves the formerly unhoused and families earning between 45 and 60 percent of Area Median Income. Two concrete midrise towers are connected by open-air bridges and separated by a central landscaped plaza. The western tower extends five stories above grade; the eastern tower comprises nine stories.

The ground floor incorporates building utilities, amenity facilities, art studios, and community-oriented nonprofit spaces, including on-site childcare. Typical tower floors consist of post-tensioned concrete flat plates to maximize ceiling heights and daylighting; accommodating a mix of studios and one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. Each floor plate features articulated slab edges that follow the facade profile.

The west building is supported by a mat foundation, while the east building is supported by deep foundation elements to avoid adding any pressure on the adjacent BART tunnel. 

Thin post-tensioned concrete floor slabs maximize ceiling heights and daylighting brought into the units.

  • Location

    San Francisco, CA

  • Square Footage

    160,000 sf

  • Cost

    $75 million

  • Completion Date



    2022 AIA SF Social Responsibility Commendation

    GreenPoint Rated Gold – 129 points

  • Owner

    BRIDGE Housing

  • Architect

    David Baker Architects

  • Contractor

    Swinerton Builders

  • Photography

    Bruce Damonte

Centering the community

A communal recreation space called La Jardin de las Familias, with gardening beds, a playground, and picnic benches tops the five-story Wiese building. The nine-story building’s roof holds solar panels and solar hot-water tanks. Between the two buildings is a courtyard called the Zócalo, after the central plaza in México City. The area is used by residents for gathering and social connection, and contains playgrounds for the neighborhood-serving childcare center. The Tipping team worked closely with GLS Landscape/Architecture on the custom gates, benches, planters, and more to support the vision of a communal oasis.