Five is magic number in SF housing crisis


By Joel P. Engardio :examiner – excerpt

If San Francisco is able to solve its housing crisis and become a city where middle- income families can survive, we might celebrate the day Eugene Lew, 78,  learned how to use a MacBook computer in the Apple store at Stonestown Mall…

When it comes to architectural trends, Lew has seen it all. He studied Le Corb- usier, a 1920s pioneer of high-rise urbanism. Then, Lew’s practice coincided with the suburban sprawl of the last third of the 20th century. With today’s move back to cities, he wants to make sure we avoid history’s mistakes.

That means something between Le Corbusier and sprawl — a happy medium of five or six stories.

“Five stories is a useful height,” Lew said. “You can house more people and keep a nice scale. It makes sense for families. At five stories, you can still whistle to your kid in the courtyard and call him to dinner.”

Lew’s big idea is family housing in five-story, five-unit buildings with a shared outdoor garden. Each floor…

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