This post appears as part of the SFhotlist San Francisco Architecture Series. We’re showcasing the best and most beautiful of San Francisco architecture. Let us know if there is an architectural style you’d like covered.

In a city known for Painted Ladies, San Franciscans love to complain about all of the new construction that’s going on and the traffic it causes. Let’s take a minute to consider the latest, greatest, and most innovative of recent architectural offerings and the design and construction trends guiding our city’s latest growth spurt.

San Francisco is Green, Baby!

As a self-styled “green” city, one of the most important design and construction trends in San Francisco is ecologically friendly building. As San Francisco builds, we are seeing more and more LEED certified construction, including the Transbay Center, slated to open in 2017.

Check out this ultra cool, interactive preview of what the Transbay Center will look like. If it ends up anything like what the interactive site shows, it will be an amazing — and green — addition to our city.

Here is another example of green building in San Francisco:

Architect David Baker, known for his green building practices, has contributed to a number of affordable housing projects throughout the city. Curran House, built in 2005, is a controversial example of how San Francisco city planners use space. In an effort to provide maximum housing to lower income families, Mr. Baker successfully pushed to exclude parking from the design!

Curran House: No Parking! (Image - Curran House)
Curran House: No Parking! (Image – Curran House)

Preservation Oriented

San Francisco, in addition to its green building, is also preservation-minded. This trend doesn’t just apply to Victorian architecture, but to older industrial buildings as well, and is often very difficult for architects to work around.

355 11th Street, part of the historic Jackson Brewing Company complex, which includes the delicious Bar Agricole restaurant and bar, was successfully transformed by Aidlin Darling Design. Getting the City of San Francisco to agree to combining the three large, forward-facing windows into one was probably no easy task but worth the effort to create something that innovates while respecting historical architecture.

Innovative 355 11th Street (Image - 355 11th Street)
Innovative 355 11th Street (Image – 355 11th Street)

Civic Minded

San Francisco as a whole is known to be a liberal and civic minded city, with a design ethos that includes not only green and innovative building, but also projects that consider the needs of our diverse population.

Local architect Paulett Taggert values the premise that excellence in design enriches both the individuals who live and work in a building as well as the surrounding community. Taggert’s firm has been the recipient of numerous awards and she became an AIA Fellow in 2007.

La Cocina, housed in the Mission District, is an example of all that Taggert strives for. Situated in a residential area, the building houses a program created for immigrant women to support them in launching their own restaurants and food-based businesses. How San Francisco is that?!

Surrounded with older, traditionally designed buildings, La Cocina fits into the neighborhood nicely because its forms recall industrial buildings and it fits the proportions of the surrounding homes.

La Cocina: Civic Minded Design Innovation (Image:  La Cocina)
La Cocina: Civic Minded Design Innovation (Image: La Cocina)

San Francisco is beautiful in part because of the diversity of its people — and its construction. It’s great that San Francisco continues to be a leader in green building, preservation, and community-minded building. As San Francisco continues to evolve, it’s exciting to imagine what the future of our architecture will bring.

If you want to talk about San Francisco real estate, especially new construction condo projects to buy or sell, let’s talk!

– DL

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