Image of the Week: Wooden Bays

Where: 3500 19th Street at Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
When: June 10, 2013
What: new housing with ground floor retail to come
Comment: looks better than I expected from the renderings. Nice touch with wood to make the generic SF boxed bay window apartment form more attractive. Hope it ages well.
Related Posts: Construction shots (Oct 2012), Renderings and images of parking lot before construction (Jun 2012), building was made by same folks who did 700 Valencia with Farina Pizza
Also see SF.Curbed's post on the place describing how the site went through a lot of environmental reviews (why?).

Here's a comparison of the rendering and an actual photo.


  1. Still pretty ugly. Architecture is clearly a lost art.

    1. Dear Lost Art,

      In addition to my earlier comment today (see below), I've heard that uninspired or ugly architecture is often not due to the architect but instead due to the developer wanting to build a box with housing in it, and not paying the higher fee to have a more inspired design. Also, with San Francisco's incredibly high costs building process costs (esp. when there is resistance and lawyers must be hired) there's less money available for a builder to use on improved architecture.

      Looks like the architects for this project were Sternberg Benjamin, who have done a lot of small multi-unit apartment/condo buildings in San Francisco.

  2. I want to like it, and do honestly like the wood touches. That said, I think the architecture bar has been set so low in San Francisco that this, sadly, is a little bit better than average for SF. In a city with higher design standards, this would probably be considered a failure.


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