Life is a Drag Theater
Homeless Navigation Center and Drag Theater


︎ Project Brief

We are investigating a site located at 1028 Market Street in San Francisco, which faces both Market Street and the Tenderloin, in a neighborhood that is currently experiencing rapid change. The relocation of many tech companies to this stretch of Market has added strain to the Tenderloin area, forcing relocations and "cleanups." A decade ago, San Francisco had 1,910 shelter beds; it now has 1,145 despite an increase in the homeless population. As we consider the shelter, its multiple personalities, as well as its critical importance in an ever evolving and changing city, how can we prototype a model that can evolve into a vibrant and connected place that redefines and creates a resilient and thoughtful urban community? We are proposing a new design prototype of navigation center for the city of San Francisco. This project asks for a permanent, radical proposal meant to bridge the gap between the existing institutional overnight shelters and Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Housing. The shelter will house people for up to 1 year and, as importantly, will support its residents 24 hours a day. The proposed typology will explore the question of how to re-envision the navigation center as a vital, connected part of an evolving San Francisco and its inhabitants. (S. Sitabkhan, D. Serban)

︎ Design Manifesto

“How could we provide for the LGBTQ+ homeless community?”

I want to focus my shelter to serve this group and let them have agency to own and activate the program’s spaces. The center will provide a transition space and place of safety that will be a multi-level extension of the street and the city, a mini ecosystem that will carry a diversity of function, connections and relationships. The shelter will have a performance theater, a place of storytelling. Through this platform, the LGBTQ+ will be able to express their unique stories and struggles, and have their voices be heard.


︎ Design Concept

The proposal hybridizes a LGBTQ+ homeless shelter and a performance theater that inspired the concept of the new typology, described as liberating and moving. When these identification came up, I realized how these words are reflections of a city’s streets. I took vignettes of the city and stacked them making the building a vertical extension of the street.



︎ Conceptualization

︎ Case Study

︎ Programmatic Studies and Iterations

︎ Study Models

︎ Project Details

Information PDF; Presentation PDF

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