David Baker Architects

ArchiPorn: Hotel SOMA


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By Sarah Hromack
SF Curbed
October 2, 2007



Exterior rendering (note the pool).

A tipster recently dropped us a line on Hotel SOMA, the David Baker+Partners Architects boutique hotel, still in its design phase, that will eventually occupy 690 5th Street, at the corner of 5th and Townsend Streets. (Track all of DB+P's projects with this Google map.) Designing for client Metrovation, DB+P have lofty goals for the hotel: Located near CalTrain (since most tourists use CalTrain) and the 3rd Street light rail, Hotel SOMA will also offer bike rentals so that guests can enjoy an offset-reduced stay. (Did we mention that they're going for LEED green certification? Well, they are). We're very interested to see the final interior and exterior designs: The place will light up "like a lantern" at night, an effect created by energy efficient LED lights sandwiched between panes of glass. The truly promising visual statement, however, lies in the hotel swimming pool, a blown glass, clear bottom vessel that will be suspended over the sidewalk below, casting light and shadows onto passers-by. The possibilities are endless here... (Call us easily amused.)

As a longtime proponent of high density urban living whose firm resides in the very sort of neighborhood he builds for (SoMa), DB+P have partnered with several local agencies to design high-quality affordable housing in San Francisco and Oakland. They do market-rate work, too (case in point!) but even then, appear to remain committed to keeping their visions grounded: For instance, the firm has promised to turn out the Hotel SOMA in furnishings purchased locally, which this shouldn't pose too much of a logistical problem given the site's proximity to San Francisco's design district. Here's one to keep tabs on, for design whores and greenies alike.

Hotel SOMA lobby renderings.