San Francisco, CA
Principal in Charge: Bruce Jett,
Client: Northpoint Apartments, LLC
The NorthPoint Apartments, built in 1969 in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood, featured five podium courtyards designed by the office of Lawrence Halprin. Half a century later, as the landscapes had to be replaced due to waterproofing failure, the design team successfully reinvented the courtyard project while meeting two primary challenges: honoring Halprin's legacy in a contemporary fashion; and reapportioning common and private spaces to meet changed expectations within the tight constraints imposed by the original flat-slab construction. The strategy is one of carefully proportioned spaces, animated by finely detailed abstractions of the natural elements of water and stone: an homage to Halprin in the materials he used with such insight. All five courtyards- four fully interior and one at the adjacent property line-share forms and colors that pick up on the language of the surrounding buildings, but are differentiated from one another in their geometry, palette of plant materials, and focal elements.