After a month-long flurry of activity, the Architecture + The City Festival, an annual function from the AIA SF, concluded its 16th year last week. Themed “We the City,” the programming included everything from panel discussions with designers, tours of opulent hillside homes, and showcases of prominent Bay Area artists.
Of the full catalogue of going-ons, nothing proved to be more popular than the home tours component, sponsored this year by Room & Board, which showcased five unique and modern residences in various neighborhoods throughout San Francisco. Included in the tour was a former 1930’s warehouse on Natoma Street that architecture firm MAK Studio transformed into a modern, multifaceted residence and working space. Rodgers Architecture showed off their Eureka Valley home, demonstrating how they were able to update a traditional residence for 21st-century urban living with plenty of open space and a three-story floating staircase. Other homes by Winder Gibson Architects, Schwartz and Architecture, and Studio Sarah Willmer Architecture helped expose the city’s contemporary leanings.
Meanwhile, the Authors Series explored the changing landscape of San Francisco through moderated lectures. On September 25, viewers heard from Pierluigi Serraino, the San Francisco–based architect and educator, who explored the history of 20th-century modern American architecture, as seen through the eyes of legendary photographer Ezra Stoller.
Throughout the month, visitors also had access to the festival’s gallery exhibit, dubbed “We the City,” at the Center for Architecture + Design Gallery. Here, guests could see the work of local artists like Thomas Heinser, David Irwin, Henrik Kam, and others. Deeper in the exhibit, an immersive element allowed people to send in pictures of themselves to be used as part of a larger installment on locals in the wild.
As one of the largest chapters of the AIA nationwide, the AIASF represents 2,300 practicing architects and members in the area, which made the Architecture + The City Festival all the more exciting. It was an opportunity to “bring the community together to explore interdisciplinary design perspectives,” according to Stacy Williams, interim executive director of AIASF. And given the pressing issues surrounding San Francisco’s built environment today, those meetings of the minds are all the more important.