Only 120 feet long and 18 feet deep, the two tiny rectangles of land on Octavia Boulevard between Fell and Oak streets are laughably small. Surrounded by chain-link fences, filled with overgrown vegetation, and on the edge of a multi-lane road that leads to the highway, they’d be abandoned in any other city.
But we’re not any city, and in San Francisco, every square foot of land is precious. Parcels M and N, left over from when the Central Freeway came down in the late 1990s, are destined to become housing: itty-bitty, micro-sized housing.
Design firm envelope A+D is behind the developments, and it has big plans for the small spaces. Each building will contain four two-bedroom units coming at 890 square feet, and eight micro-studio units, measuring between 370 and 400 square feet. All told, 24 units of housing will be squeezed onto the pint-sized plots, two of which will be offered below market-rate.
Although the project is still years away from breaking ground, it’s already secured a design prize. Architect Douglas Burnham won first place in the San Francisco Prize: Octavia Boulevard Housing Design Competition, knocking out 166 other submissions.
The small buildings are currently inching their way through the Planning Department’s review process, but despite the beautiful renderings, it’s still hard to imagine them rising up from the miniscule lots. This is one project that’s going to have to be seen to be believed.
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