Yu Chen


The objective of the studio is to critically look at works by John Portman, recognizing that the architect creates spaces that do not respond to, but rather create, the site. Spaces that never lack theatricality, but are sometimes devoid of localism. This project is located in San Francisco, CA, a city that “screams” localism. The triangular site is right off of Embarcadero Street, across from The Pier. The building’s major programs include hotel rooms in its western wing and duplex residential units on the eastern side, both built with the understanding of the ever-increasing property values, housing and density demands, and changing hotel trends. The building responds directly to the tricky triangular site with extremely tailored arrangements of five different modules. Shifting and stepping, these five 400-square-foot modules allow each unit—hotel and residential—to have an outdoor balcony, with corner windows that grant views of the water and the city. On the interior, the changing dimensions of these modules create the effect of the three-dimensional terracing.

About The Designer

Yu Chen is an M.Arch candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.