The design for this 40-unit apartment building is extracted from multiple contextual scales. It is embedded in the life of its neighborhood as well as the larger environment. Oakland’s Jingletown has long been home to the industry that occupies the warehouses that dot the area, and to the low-density housing that mixes with it. More recently, the neighborhood has become an artist enclave. The Oakland estuary and waterfront greenway end a block from the project site. The architecture seeks to bridge building scales, to become an extension of the greenway, and to reflect the colorful mosaics and sculpture for which the neighborhood is known. This is accomplished by breaking down the forms to scale to the neighborhood and breaking open its center to accommodate green space. These operations have the added benefit of making the project environmentally sustainable. The color and incorporation of sculptural elements throughout public spaces connects the architecture to the cultural context of a de facto arts district. The project sustainability is integral to the project design. The design strategy integrates place, history, ecology and resource efficiency. The process breaks down into 5 components: Analysis, Subtraction, Circulation, Layer, and Wrapping.
The analysis was an investigation of existing site conditions, but also a critique of standard residential development procedures. It was noted that double loaded corridors designed to minimize costs and maximize leasable footage led to a common architecture; the design sought to move away from this type.
Subtraction cuts open the typical multifamily form. The axis created a shared, open community space and provided access to more daylight and views. Cross ventilation eliminates the need for mechanical cooling. The subtraction created a healthy, comfortable environment that is connected to the outdoors.
Circulation components are open to the courtyards and gardens, creating a walk space that thickens at intersection points to create spaces for gathering and chance encounters.
The landscape is layered into the courtyards, circulation, and exterior of the building. These include planter beds and green screens. The design provides a connection to nature and the outdoors that are essential to healthy living.
Wrapping the building was done in collaboration with neighbors and long-term residents, the exterior surface of the architecture uses color and pattern, and the interiors integrate sculptural forms to express a relationship to the artists’ studios and galleries the populate Jingletown.
Additional Sustainable Elements - Increased Bicycle Parking / Limited Auto Parking - Active Ventilation and Air Filtration - Sound Isolation - Recycled Content Material - Low VOC Paint and Sealant - High-Efficiency Appliances - LED Fixtures