Honorable Mention: Timber Town: for San Francisco, by San Francisco


Honorable Mention: Timber Town: for San Francisco, by San Francisco

Gould Evans

The effects of gentrification, low affordable housing stock, high construction costs, systemic racism and the pandemic have created a public health and humanitarian crisis in San Francisco.

Timber Town is a holistic framework for regenerative living. Modeled on a factory town, the concept provides prefabricated mass timber housing, community infrastructure, and economic opportunities by repurposing an existing automotive facility for on-site housing production. The 12’ x 12’ kit-of-parts approach aims for low first and operational costs and accommodates diverse households. On-site urban farming provides healthy food access, creates job opportunities, and supports early education about food and environment.

Timber Town proposes treating a systematic issue like houselessness with a systematic approach: layering emerging construction technology, job opportunity, healthy food access, and amenity-rich, community-oriented housing. Equitable housing development and sustainable living is the foundation of a resilient community with opportunities to grow.

Key Team Members

Gould Evans,
April Philips Design Works,
DCI Engineers,
Point Energy Innovations,

About the organization

Gould Evans was founded in 1974 by Robert Gould and David Evans, two former classmates from the University of Kansas School of Architecture who shared a passion for regional architecture and design. They established a general practice firm in Lawrence, Kansas, with strong connections to region and community. From these roots and a driving entrepreneurial spirit, emerged multiple studios in locations across the United States. They were not conceived as branches but as design centers in their own right with the local leadership, flexibility and nimbleness to respond to local opportunities. The original office remains a vibrant studio for young thinkers now working across our practice. Our firm realized explosive growth in the 1990s, allowing us to expand our national footprint and portfolio of work. The onset of recession in 2008 presented an opportunity to refocus our practice around our core beliefs. As we completed the transition from the firm’s co-founders to the next generation of leaders, the principals embarked on a new strategic plan that is guiding both our present and our future. Today, the firm is led by eleven principals across our five studios in Lawrence, Kansas City, San Francisco, Phoenix and New Orleans. Our vision celebrates the principles on which we were founded, while creating a new lens for design that is rooted in ideas and meaningful outcomes. It is our “why,” the mission that guides our practice.