Located in West Oakland, The Black Panther is a groundbreaking affordable housing community that supports very low-income and formerly incarcerated individuals. Working with local non-profit Oakland and the World Enterprise (OAW) and McCormack Barron Salazar (MBS), MWA helped design a five-story apartment building with residential, community, and commercial spaces. Situated just three blocks from BART, the development is a transit-oriented community with convenient access to downtown Oakland, San Francisco, and the entire Bay Area.
The façade of the building ungulates to deflect noise coming from the neighboring BART tracks. Units on the upper levels have views of the Bay and the Oakland Hills. Commercial businesses with individual entries open organically to the street on the ground floor. Setting the building slightly inside the property line allows for oversized sidewalks encouraging higher levels of foot traffic, activating the street’s commercial core.
To encourage multi-modal transportation, the rear of the building has secure bike storage and just 11 parking spots. A demonstration urban farm sits at the East end of the site, creating opportunities for residents to enjoy the outdoors.