Case Study: The Ping Yuen Apartments, SF

While employed at MEI Architects, San Francisco

New single story community room addition at Ping Yuen Center

An existing 234 unit public senior housing complex, in 3 buildings spanning 3 city blocks, was built originally in 1950 by John Bolles. The project was a major renovation as part of MOH-RAD Phase II. Gelfand Partners Architects & MEI Architects joint ventured on the project, Brittany was Project Architect on the team with MEI Architects.

MOH-RAD was an experimental new way to transfer derelict properties without a proper maintenance budget from the Federal Housing Authority of San Francisco (SFHA) to local non-profit ownership. Within that transfer was also a way to change financing and offer up new opportunities to funding for construction projects long deferred. These 3 1950’s buildings underwent a major renovation to fix the outdated and undersized trash rooms and chutes, full new interiors for all units, updated entries, updated courtyards, and elevator repairs. For Ping Yuen Center it received a new community room and associated spaces in one of the existing rear yard courtyards.

Brittany worked over 2 years on this project, from early schematic design phase through permitting. She went through all phases of design, value engineering and permitting with this project.

A major portion of this project was to increase security for the 3 Ping Yuen Apartment Complexes. Before the renovation, there was just a mostly open, mostly broken gate separating all the street activity on Pacific from all the residents entry doors. Crime was so bad before that there were homeless encampments on the roofs of the buildings breaking the glass skylights over the stairwells, there was also a police substation placed at the Pings because of the crime levels. Now, with the new entry portals, there is a new intercom entry system whereby residents can control guests access to visit. The new entry doors were placed onto entry colonade, controlling visitor access to the elevators and the rest of the building. Crime has significantly gone down since the new security measures.

New entry portals with upgraded ADA access and upgraded security measures.
New trash service off existing building side yards.

As part of the renovation – trash service was moved from the front courtyards (allowing for a cleaner and more pleasant entry experience) to the side rear yards. New ground level trash rooms were created, new trash chutes were installed, and upper level trash rooms were enlarged to be now ADA compliant and more functional. To accommodate the level changes on Pacific Avenue to get the trash up to the street level, loading dock lifts were installed. Brittany redesigned the trash service and its technical components.