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  Kelly Cullen CommunityKelly Cullen Community


Gelfand Partners Architecture
165 10th Street, #100, San Francisco, CA 94103

General Description

Location: San Francisco, California
Date Bid: Oct 2009 Construction Period: Feb 2010 to Aug 2012
Total Square Feet: 98,385 Site: 0.4132 acres.
Number of Buildings: One; 174 micro-units, gymnasium, auditorium, offices.
Building Sizes: Basement, 21,459; first floor, 8,113; second floor, 2,375; third floor, 5,465; fourth floor, 10,720; fifth floor, 10,498; sixth floor, 9,850; seventh floor, 10,447; eighth floor, 14,170; ninth floor, 5,288; total, 98,385 square feet.
Building Height: Basement, 16’; First floor, 14’; second floor, 12’; third through ninth floor, varies; total, 103’ 2”.
Basic Construction Type: Adaptive Reuse/Historical Renovation.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, helical anchors. Exterior Walls: Brick, concrete. Roof: Membrane. Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: Wood stud drywall, metal stud drywall, wood & plaster. KSTU/SF/yr: 210 MBTU/SF/yr

Project Team

Preservation Architect: Knapp Architects - 5 Third Street, #920, San Francisco, CA 94103
Structural Engineer: Tennebaum-Manheim Engineers - 414 Main Street, #605, San Francisco, CA 94102
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Salas O’Brien Engineers - 305 S. 11th Street, San Jose, CA 95112
General Contractor: Cahill Contractors - 425 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94104
Plumbing: Tommy Siu & Associates - 657 Mission Street, #448, San Francisco, CA 94105
Interiors: Multiplicity Design - 363 6th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118

The historic Central YMCA, built in San Francisco, is a valued community resource. Its century of service to the YMCA’s values of body, mind and spirit made it uniquely suited for conversion into supportive housing for the homeless and a health center serving residents and neighbors in the Tenderloin. This integration of home and health is an innovative approach to permanent housing for people who have been chronically homeless or at risk of homelessness. The $55 million renovation of the building creates a housing community of 174 micro-units of approximately 200 square feet each while preserving the sky lit second floor lobby, full size gym, auditorium, offices and meeting rooms of the original use. The new LEED CI Gold primary care and behavioral and mental health clinic occupies 11,700 square feet of former locker room and support space on the ground floor, while the original basement swimming pool has been converted to a multipurpose room.

Renovations in the 1950’s removed the original grand stair that provided entry direct from street to 2nd floor lobby. The building always had separate circulation for club members, hotel guests, and visitors, but with the removal of the stair and other circulation changes the building became a 3D maze. The lobby was restored as the heart of the building, with a new grand stair with a small street level lobby, and an accessible elevator. The restored lobby improved circulation throughout the building on the upper floors. Residential wings and 24 new units constructed above the historic gym wrap the light well above the lobby.

Historic preservation tax credits provided partial funding for the project and required a high degree of preservation sensitivity. The project will also house a vulnerable population and must manage operating costs for its non-profit sponsor. The small units preserve the original window bays and gain spaciousness from their generous proportions and high ceilings, while providing occupants with ample storage, cooking facilities, and individual bathrooms. Shotcrete seismic strengthening limits impinging on existing openings. Window repairs preserve existing fabric while providing for energy efficiency and comfort. The new radiant heating system, energy efficient lighting and ventilation, and focus on healthy materials support resident well-being and sustainability. Terrazzo stairs, tile walls, wood ceilings, and translucent planters around the new grand stair are chosen for their compatibility with the historic wood, tile, and marble finishes that were meticulously restored.

Few uses could have made as fruitful a conversion of the historic combination of recreation, office, performance, social and residential spaces as this project. A development in which only 50% of the square footage was proposed for residential use would have been hard to justify in a new building. Existing public spaces in the historic building allowed for creative programming to enhance residential use and supplement that with health care and retail, embodying a holistic approach to development.

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