The 400 Grove Street project, built in the heart of the Hayes Valley, is on a site
that emerged when portions of a central highway that bisected the city were
demolished. The first obstacle on this difficult and inflexible site was to create
space that had to feel open, connected to the atmosphere of the neighborhood,
but respect residential privacy. To this end, 400 Grove’s design references the
central mews typology, which set row houses around an internal alley where
neighbors meet. This contemporary take replaces the alley with a landscaped
common space accessible only to bicycles and pedestrians.
Its faceted facades echo an earlier tradition: the classic San Francisco bay
windows prevalent in the area. The angled windows capture views of Hayes
Valley’s bustling street scene and surrounding hillside neighborhoods. The 400
Grove Street project shows that an iconic design can be engaging and sensitive to
the site’s history.