With several projects including Linden Alley, Parcel P, and 315 Linden (the firm’s current headquarters), BUILD has helped transform this once ordinary neighborhood into a bustling hot spot for boutique shops, restaurants, and homes. As the first stop coming off highway 101 into San Francisco, Hayes Valley now sets the example for San Francisco’s districts of the future.
315 Linden St., BUILD’s headquarters, has become a hub of creative activities far beyond its original expectation. Over the past decade, it has been a base for Sagan Piechota Architecture, the Linden Tree Salon, Macy Architecture, Kelly Macy Design, a full design/production studio for ceramic arts, a furniture design and fabrication studio, and home to the original Blue Bottle Retail presence. It has become a creative hub of activity for urban design, arts and crafts, architecture, planning, neighborhood-serving retail and who knows what else over the years to come.
Linden Alley is one of San Francisco’s most pioneering and celebrated “living alleys.” Once an unremarkable side street in the Hayes Valley neighborhood, Linden Alley is now a thriving pedestrian-oriented destination featuring seating, landscaping, and celebrated local businesses such as Blue Bottle Coffee, Smitten Ice Cream and Dark Garden. BUILD co-founder Loring Sagan in partnership with architect David Winslow spent four years shepherding the greening of Linden Alley through a complex bureaucratic process. Since then, the City of San Francisco has now established both a Living Alleys Toolkit and a Plazas Program to facilitate the conversion of similar underutilized streetscapes into pedestrian amenities. Linden alley is hailed as a successful model for shared public spaces in the Bay Area and beyond.
Build was the successful respondent to a request for proposals issued by the City of San Francisco for what was originally the onramp to Highway 101 southbound from Oak Street. The site is located in the residential neighborhood of Hayes Valley. It was a vital infill piece replacing the earthquake-damaged 101 elevated freeway and mending the urban fabric around it. Once the freeway was removed, the neighborhood quickly began a transformation into what is now one of the prime neighborhoods in the city.
Build’s winning design was based on breaking the entire city block into fragments, which allowed a large project to fit more comfortably into the neighborhood. The plan evolved into a 182-unit residential development designed by three different architects. Multiple buildings were built over a common podium in order to achieve efficiencies in construction and maintain diversity in design. Avalon Bay purchased Build’s interest in the site in 2012.