the structure will be an economic assistance center...
It will become a place for the local homeless and underprivileged population of San Francisco to receive counseling, education, and career placement services. Intangibly, however, the structure will become a beacon of hope for the area and a sign of growth.
In order to be successful, it must welcome visitors in and become a hub for self-fulfillment and renewal. It must provide an overall inspirational undertone as it transitions visitors into the working world.
A SYMBOL FOR GROWTH AND HOPE...
The vegetative facade grows fruits and vegetables in the mild San Francisco climate that can then be sold on the ground level for profit.
The living wall also performs as a dynamic shading devise. During the winter when the leaves are thinner, natural light is permitted to penetrate the light screen and warm the interior spaces. Summer months have fuller vines, therefore naturally shading the structure.
How does the green screen live?
The vegetative facade is supplied with water through a rainwater collecting pool and a series of water walls.
A roof garden collects rain water year round. For every inch or rain the site receives, the collecting pool can retain almost 2,000 gallons of water. That water remains in the reflecting pool until it spills out over one of two spillways. These spillways create 'waterwalls' that run along the exterior glass facade and collect at each landing into a small basin. Here, volunteers can scoop out the necessary water and use it to water the plants.
Water that is not used in the basin then spills out over the spillway and continues down to the next landing where the process will begin again, all the way until the ground level where the waterwalls terminate into two reflecting pools.
What is the overall organization of the design?
The design is organized around a central core. This is where the heart of the functions of the economic center take place. Surrounding the core on three sides is the green screen and trellis work. The fourth side, pointed directly northeast, is the service core.
The structure is organized this way to allow for maximum allowance of sunlight onto the green screen as well as presenting an interesting and intriguing street presence for the street corner. The green screen surrounds the programmatic core so as to provide dynamic shading for the interior spaces.
What is the structural system?
The Economic Assistance Center uses a combination of 2 structural systems to resist the seismic displacement expected for San Francisco.
The service core is constructed with concrete shear walls to provide a structural backbone while reinforced concrete columns provide the rest of the structure. These columns are utilized so as to provide open floor plans to allow natural light to penetrate as deep as possible into the center of the structure.