At the intersection of narrow mid-block alley-streets, this small timber tower’s plan and programming create a significant new public nexus and pedestrian through way to support San Francisco’s network of new pedestrian alleys radiating outward from the Transbay Terminal into the surrounding SoMA District. Timber construction, combined with recent building code changes allow this project to embrace environmentally positive, carbon-sequestering, fire-resistant wood construction technologies in a taller urbanbuilding.A century ago, the property owner’s grandparents made specialty lighting fixtures here, collaborating with noted California architects and artists, including architect Julia Morgan, and later with friends such as the ceramicist Edith Heath and many other modern masters of California craft and architecture. Continuing the arts and crafts history of this community and building remains important to the owner, while her own career as a stage actor compels her to add cultural programming and entertainment to development plans.All these considerations combine to produce a tall alley-corner night-life arts machine, taking the form of a glowing wooden lantern shooting up from a humble old lantern workshop. We call it the Matchstick, but its heavy timber construction is highly fire-resistant. This point is significant in its regional context, as the building tickles thoughts of inescapable California resonance: Mineshaft descent into womb-like western bedrock, seeking gold, fearing liquefaction; Climbingboldly upward into future dreams, defying gravity and earthly stutter; Bathing in exotic local forest wood, inhaling fiery breezes, a cocktail glass reflecting soot-orange sunset; Strolling alleyways at night, in a romantic city, still fearful of darker corners; al fresco rooftop chilling within the reassuring embrace of low-carbon technologic architectural salvation; Dinner and a show, an urban stage rising from seductive alleyways, its glowing marquee crown surrounded by carpets of geometric street lightrolling outward toward a shimmering bay rising fearsomely ever round us.