Winners for an ideas competition to create a zero net energy building in one of San Francisco's poorer neighborhoods were announced Friday.

The Architecture at Zero competition, sponsored by the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects and Pacific Gas and Electric Co., tasked participants to develop a zero net energy mixed-use building, including affordable housing units, in the city's Tenderloin neighborhood. The competition, in its third year, partnered with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp. Prior years have involved sites in Merced and Emeryville, Calif.

The competition's 22,341 square-foot site, currently a parking lot, is located only a few blocks from San Francisco's Market Street. The downtown neighborhood, despite its proximity to City Hall and tony shopping district Union Square, has a persistently high crime and poverty rate.

Google Maps Street View of competition site.

Google Maps Street View of competition site.

Credit: Courtesy of Google Maps


The jury for the competition included Kansas City, Mo.-based BNIM Architects' Bob Berkebile, FAIA, Architecture 2030's Ed Mazria, AIA, Architectural Record's Cathleen McGuigan, National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Paul Torcellini, and Paulett Taggart, FAIA, of local firm Paulett Taggart Architects.

Here are the six winning designs, which were awarded a total of $25,000 in prizes.

Living in Flux, designed by California Polytechnic State University's Victor Bao, won the Student Merit Award.

Living in Flux, designed by California Polytechnic State University's Victor Bao, won the Student Merit Award.


Catalyst SF received a Professional Merit award. The project was submitted by Booth Hansen, which has offices in Chicago and San Francisco. The team participants were Joseph King, Lillian Park, Tony Vasquez, and Laurence Booth.

Catalyst SF received a Professional Merit award. The project was submitted by Booth Hansen, which has offices in Chicago and San Francisco. The team participants were Joseph King, Lillian Park, Tony Vasquez, and Laurence Booth.

Prime Cut, by Zurich-based Rutz Architects, received a Professional Merit Award. The project team was Stephan Rutz, Jesse Honsa, Kate Gannon, Karl Sippel, Bruno Keller, Christian Schoch, Heinz Simmler, Andreas Gianoli, and Roland Ryser.

Prime Cut, by Zurich-based Rutz Architects, received a Professional Merit Award. The project team was Stephan Rutz, Jesse Honsa, Kate Gannon, Karl Sippel, Bruno Keller, Christian Schoch, Heinz Simmler, Andreas Gianoli, and Roland Ryser.

NZ+ Beyond Net Zero Energy received the Professional Citation Award. The project team, based out of Toronto, was Drew Adams, Joseph Yau, and Mark Alocilja.

NZ+ Beyond Net Zero Energy received the Professional Citation Award. The project team, based out of Toronto, was Drew Adams, Joseph Yau, and Mark Alocilja.

Folium received a Professional Special Recognition award. The project was a partnership between San Francisco-based Herman Coliver Locus Architecture, EBS Consultants (which has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Aspen), and Architectural Lighting Design. The project team was Karim Hammad, Robert Herman, Susie Coliver, Stephen Doherty, Jonas Weber, Emma Ramoy, Michael Hummel, Ryan Potvin, and David Malman.

Folium received a Professional Special Recognition award. The project was a partnership between San Francisco-based Herman Coliver Locus Architecture, EBS Consultants (which has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Aspen), and Architectural Lighting Design. The project team was Karim Hammad, Robert Herman, Susie Coliver, Stephen Doherty, Jonas Weber, Emma Ramoy, Michael Hummel, Ryan Potvin, and David Malman.


Tetris Block received a Professional Special Recognition award. The Chicago-based team included Duane B. Carter, Mike Stopka, Simon Mance, Scott Farbman, and Courtney Brower.

Tetris Block received a Professional Special Recognition award. The Chicago-based team included Duane B. Carter, Mike Stopka, Simon Mance, Scott Farbman, and Courtney Brower.