8 Octavia is a 47-unit project, the culmination of nearly a decade of design and development by Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects, and DDG and DM Development, with landscape by Marta Fry Landscape Associates. The project site was originally one of the SF Prize competition sites in 2007, also known as Parcel V, in the Market-Octavia plan. This parcel was created when the central freeway structure was demolished in 2003 and replaced with Octavia Boulevard.
An eight-story concrete and glass storefront building, 8 Octavia includes ground floor retail spaces on the corner of Octavia and Market, and Octavia and Haight, totalling approximately 4,500 square feet. The ground floor lobby for the residential apartments shares an interior courtyard with the main retail space and contains two 19,000 pound boulders that were craned into place during construction. One and two-bedroom apartments, with penthouse two-bedroom apartments featuring private roof decks, are distributed throughout the building, using a repeating set of unit plans, typically shaped like “I,” “U” and “L,” rotated to create private outdoor space for each unit. The outdoor spaces range from large patios to smaller balconies, both internal and external to the building. The developer opted to put their Below-Market Rate (BMR) inclusionary requirement on-site, meaning seven of the 47 units are for residents earning up to 90 percent of the Area-Median-Income (AMI). Unbundled parking is available on site, at a rate of 0.5 spaces per unit. And one-to-one bike parking is also provided.
Units are open-floor plan with floor to ceiling windows. Both bathrooms and kitchens are organized in a compact core of each unit, which was key to the open floor plan design. Bathrooms are typically compartmentalized, with sliding panels separating the on-suite bathrooms from the sleeping zones. These unit plans are very efficient, utilizing what would otherwise be circulation space in hallways and doubling their use in bathrooms or bedrooms as usable square footage.
Pursuing Green Point certification, the project uses Nest thermostat controllers, vertical extruded aluminum aerofoils that rotate up to 180 degrees to screen the western sun, FSC-certified flooring, high-efficiency lighting, low-flow fixtures, and storefront windows with high acoustic STC rating (sound transmission coefficient) to keep the street noise at bay, and low-e glazing to improve interior comfort. Each unit individually controls the aerofoils on the exterior of their units. And the small drum motors for each set are so quiet, that inside the unit you cannot hear the mechanism doing its magic. Other enhanced features of the building include a virtual doorman and RFID smartphone keyless unit entries to keep HOA fees reasonable.
Central to the marketing strategy is highlighting the amenities of the Hayes Valley neighborhood as much as the building itself. To do this, DDG/DM and The Mark Company worked with Apartamento Magazine out of Spain to create a lifestyle journal with stories about neighborhood businesses like Rich Table, Bar Jules, Reliquary and others. The two model units we saw on the tour are furnished in a collaboration with two local furniture stores, Future Perfect and Propeller, who are able to showcase products that reflect the character of their showrooms and help market the building to prospective residents.
Thanks to Adrianne Steichen, a Licensed Architect and Senior Associate at Pyatok Architects, an SFHAC-member, for writing this tour recap. And special thanks to Susie Smith, Senior Marketing Manager at SFHAC Member, KPFF Consulting Engineers, for contributing to this article.
The Housing Action Coalition is a member-supported non-profit that advocates for the creation of well designed, well-located housing at all levels of affordability. We believe more housing means more choices and better solutions. View all posts by Housing Action Coalition
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