SWA Group has begun schematic design for the landscape and community plan for Sunnydale, San Francisco. SWA is designing the first phase of the 50-acre community which is undergoing a complete replacement of dilapidated circa-1941 housing.
Press Release (February 10, 2011)
SAN FRANCISCO–SWA Group, one of the world’s leading landscape architecture, planning and urban design firms, has begun schematic design for the landscape and community plan for Sunnydale, San Francisco’s largest public affordable housing site. Sunnydale is a recipient of one of the largest HOPE SF funding efforts to transform San Francisco public housing. SWA is designing the first phase of the 50-acre community which is undergoing a complete replacement of dilapidated circa-1941 housing.
“The transformation planned for Sunnydale is truly remarkable,” said SWA principal Rene Bihan. “The goal is not just reversing a troubled neighborhood, but to make it a model sustainable community that most any part of San Francisco would wish to replicate. We’re taking the best of landscape urbanism to create a healthier, safer, more walkable community.”
When the Sunnydale HOPE SF developers and design team started work in 2009, then-Mayor Gavin Newsom and officials challenged them to raise the bar for public housing design. Sunnydale is a joint effort of the City of San Francisco, San Francisco Housing Authority, developers Mercy Housing and The Related Companies of California, with a myriad of funding including US HUD. SWA is working in conjunction with Master Plan Architect Van Meter Williams Pollack and small-business contractor Merrill Morris Landscape Architects.
SWA has initiated schematic landscape designs for a set of residential buildings by local architects. When complete, Sunnydale HOPE SF will have approximately 1000 affordable rental units for families and seniors and almost 700 units of affordable and market-rate homes.
“What’s really unusual here is the level of community input into the master plan design, and the vision that residents and neighbors have for a new neighborhood,” said Ramie Dare, project manager for Mercy Housing. “This is quality housing that includes parks, programs and services for youth, families and seniors to create a healthy neighborhood.”
Sunnydale’s first phase features advanced green design using natural systems, and even an urban farm.
By re-siting buildings and streets, SWA’s plan will create 6.4 acres of park-space -– more than 10 percent of the Sunnydale site — including an organic farm for raising garden-to-table produce. A “green streets” design includes landscaping along the sidewalks to cleanse street pollution from rainwater run-off. Once it passes through landscape bioswalea, the rainwater is stored in an underground cistern to irrigate the parks, community garden, and street landscaping.
The Sunnydale HOPE SF master plan design is anticipated to qualify for LEED-ND designation of the U.S. Green Building Council.
SWA Group (www.swagroup.com), established in 1957, is an international landscape architecture, planning and urban design firm. SWA has offices in Sausalito, CA, Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, CA, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Shanghai and the United Arab Emirates. Since its inception, SWA Group has worked in over 60 countries, and its projects have garnered more than 600 awards.