San Francisco, CA
Jett Landscape Architecture + Design
Principal in Charge: Bruce Jett,
Client: Northpoint Apartments, LLC
The NorthPoint Apartments, built in 1969 in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, featured five podium courtyards designed by the office of Lawrence Halprin. Half a century later, as the landscapes had to be replaced due to waterproofing failure, the design team successfully reinvented the courtyard project while meeting two primary challenges: honoring Halprin’s legacy in a contemporary fashion; and reapportioning common and private spaces to meet changed expectations within the tight constraints imposed by the original flat-slab construction. The strategy is one of carefully proportioned spaces, animated by finely detailed abstractions of the natural elements of water and stone: an homage to Halprin in the materials he used with such insight. All five courtyards— four fully interior and one at the adjacent property line—share forms and colors that pick up on the language of the surrounding buildings, but are differentiated from one another in their geometry, palette of plant materials, and focal elements.