Launch Slideshow

gateway commons

The judges applauded Pyatok Associates' straightforward approach to the challenging site of Gateway Commons.

gateway commons

The judges applauded Pyatok Associates' straightforward approach to the challenging site of Gateway Commons.

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    The design and development teams envisioned Gateway Commons as a catalyst that would help revive aneconomically depressed area. The murals on theside of the project, which depict the creek that flows underneath the gap between the two buildings, werepaint

pyatok associates, oakland

The judges applauded Pyatok Associates' straightforward approach to the challenging site of Gateway Commons. This 17-unit affordable community sits on the border between the cities of Emeryville and Oakland, Calif., and on top of a county-owned underground creek. "We weren't allowed to build on the county's land," says Michael Pyatok, FAIA. "That's why there's a break in the middle of the project."

Before starting design, Pyatok held a series of workshops with the community's future residents, low- and moderate-income buyers who already lived in the neighborhood. He supplied them with three-dimensional modeling kits and asked them to experiment with different densities and configurations. The workshops revealed that the families involved with the project wanted opportunities for home-based businesses and rental income. So, in the final design, the 10 street-facing units contain a potential live/work space, and the seven across the auto court have a ground-floor bedroom that can be rented out.

project architect: Curtis Caton, Pyatok Associates
land planner: Larry Taylor, Community Development Corporation of Oakland, Oakland
developer: Antonio Bryant, Oakland Community Housing, Oakland
general contractor: Mohammad Hakimi, J.H. Fitzmaurice, Oakland
landscape architect: Rich Seyfarth, Berkeley, Calif.
project size: 1,700 to 2,000 square feet per unit
site size: 0.6 acre
construction cost: $105 per square foot
sales price: $135,000 to $199,000 per unit
units in project: 17
photographer: Michael Pyatok, FAIA