Recover in Place: Architecture for Living and Well-being in San Francisco's Tenderloin District
Chan, Karen Hoi Man
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Cities in the United States have grappled with issues of substandard living in downtown neighborhoods known as skid rows. Their reputation for homelessness, drug abuse, and mental disorders disconnects them from the rest of the city despite the efforts to provide social services. Since these social issues tend to correlate with one another, solutions must take a holistic approach so residents can fulfill their needs of housing, wellness, and community or individual and collective well-being. Architecture can play a role in improving the quality of life in skid row neighborhoods. With the Tenderloin District in San Francisco as the site of intervention, this thesis proposes a supportive housing and wellness center to provide a recovery environment for residents facing homelessness, mental disorders, and drug abuse. With community being vital to recovery, the project explores the use of spaces that foster healthy interactions between diverse user groups and reintegrate the marginalized back into society. As an urban piece, the project also must address its relationship to the neighborhood’s public realm. Designing a project in the Tenderloin acknowledges the challenges of the prevalence of undesirable behavior among its population. Spaces should provide a sense of security but also be welcoming and engaging to the general public.
- Architecture