Richardson Apartments

RHEINZINK America Inc.

Under the premise that public housing projects deserve the same level of architectural attention as any other, the new Richardson Apartments in San Francisco is as visually interesting as they come. Featured on its most visible elevation are titanium zinc panels from RHEINZINK America in two of the company’s most popular finishes.

Located in the heart of San Francisco, the new Richardson Apartments is a mixed-use SRO (Single Room Occupancy) building provides housing for very-low-income, formerly homeless residents. The five-story building has 120 apartments positioned over tall retail storefronts on a busy corner just two blocks from City Hall. The project is on one of the sites freed for development by demolition of the collapsed Central Freeway. Development in the area is intended to create a dense, transit-oriented neighborhood with housing over retail and streets that are friendly to pedestrians and bicycles.

Design for the project was provided by David Baker Architects, San Francisco. “The goal of the project was to maximize a tight site to meet program needs and create gracious living and community spaces,” said Kevin Wilcock, principal. “The design focused on the natural beauty of the materials—zinc, salvaged wood and board-form concrete—and concentrated the budget on the iconic corner, entry area and shared spaces.”

Approximately 3,000 sq. ft. of RHEINZINK PrePATINA graphite-grey and 500 sq. ft. of PrePATINA blue-grey Angle Lock Standing Seam Panels clad the signature corner of the structure. The two RHEINZINK finishes interface with wood on the prominent corner of the building and interact with lime-green stucco walls and aluminum sunscreens along the flanks of the structure.

“We decided on RHEINZINK because it has a timeless and natural beauty which provides an attractive and distinguished appearance for this prominent corner in the neighborhood,” Wilcock said.

The design of the building balances independence and security. The ground level includes a monitored “air lock” lobby, administrative offices, clinic, lounge, program rooms and kitchen/laundry facilities. Individual apartments average approximately 300 sq. ft. and include basic furnishings, private baths and a kitchenette.

The SRO project is a good example of the Bay Area’s ability to provide top-flight contemporary housing for the very needy. Designed with long-term durability in mind, the building currently rates 143 GreenPoints and surpasses California’s strict energy standards by 15%.

The RHEINZINK panels were installed by Van Mulder Sheet Metal, San Leandro, CA. The RHEINZINK distributor on the project was CSI, Carson, CA.

About RHEINZINK America Inc.

RHEINZINK America, Inc. is a North American provider of architectural zinc used in the fabrication of roofing, facades, rainware and architectural details. For more information visit

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