Inspirational Architecture


San Francisco attracts people from the world over to photograph our stunning Victorian homes, marvel at our beaux-arts buildings downtown, and be awestruck by our majestic landmarks. The Golden Gate Bridge is recognized globally for its grand stance and inspirational backdrop.

While our historic buildings are second to none, it's time for our contemporary architecture to provide that same sense of grandness, of humanity, and of deep love of our city. There's an overwhelming feeling that our more recent additions are not living up to our standards, despite the economic boom that is their impetus. This is not simply a question of impressiveness, but what we choose to build is a reflection of the city we want to inhabit, the space we want to provide, and the opportunities we want to aspire to.

“People see architecture as a luxury; to me, it's a right. If we lose our culture and heritage, we lose our identity. When we appreciate culture and design, we appreciate life.”

— Ar. Esa Mohamed

As we talk about architecture in San Francisco, it's important to ensure that our development not only reflects our values and cultures, but embraces and supports the communities we live in. Rather than simply serving the needs of a single population, in a time of economic boom, our new developments should provide positive benefits for all of us, enriching our neighborhoods with more culture and opportunity—not less.

Our city has the opportunity to define a new era of unique San Francisco architecture that inspires for hundreds of years to come, and is worthy enough for San Franciscans of all backgrounds to call home.

Every building should be

Grand SF Architecture

A Coalition For Great Buildings

Drawing on our city's history, our unique climate, our cultural institutions, and our modern way of life, it's time to help define what San Francisco Architecture truly means today. This coalition of architects, historians, cultural leaders, and designers should be advised by residents and community leaders to adapt and determine visions that work within each neighborhood.

Overhaul Development Model

Better Input, Earlier

Residents and community members should have strong input into the development process, helping to shape what we build in San Francisco. In order to streamline this process and reduce the time from proposal to construction, we can't afford to have the back and forth on each project that we have today, nor can we wait until the end stages of development before communities have a chance for input. Every new development impacts a neighborhood, and it's important to recognize the importance of this as we grow our city, and ensure that each new development brings positive impacts into a community.

Encourage Organic Growth

Giant Development ≠ A Neighborhood

It's easy for cities to work with developers on massive-scale developments. It lets the city dictate what they want, and it provides ample opportunity for dealmaking behind closed doors. Yet there are very few examples of these creating culturally, socially, and economically successful neighborhoods. We need a platform and guidelines that enable growth organically.

Simplify Approval Process

Clear Guidelines For Development

As clear development and architectural guidelines are established within each neighborhood, new housing that work within these guidelines should have a simplified approval process. Once we have an understanding of how to best design and architect buildings that complement and support our communities, we can help move to approve buildings more quickly, continuing to provide housing to help keep San Francisco more affordable.