As part of a vision for regional redevelopment, this project represents a movement toward replacing surface-parked, suburban-style office development with walkable, strategically-located residential communities. Major objectives were to: 1) locate high-density residential near mass transit and employment centers; 2) create publicly accessible open space to benefit new residents as well as existing neighborhoods, with connectivity to regional bike and hiking trails; 3) create an urban scale block pattern that encourages pedestrian access and distributes vehicular traffic; and 4) create smaller residential neighborhoods within the plan, encouraging architectural diversity and providing residents with a social community. These goals were achieved by organizing the 1,750 units into five architecturally distinctive, transit-oriented residential neighborhoods, situated around a five-acre park which not only provides on-site residents with a valuable amenity, but also provides public access.
Constraints and opportunities: 1) existing regional power lines meant greater building setback was needed to allow for utility easement. This also provided an appropriate distance from the busy local collector street. Our solution included enhanced landscaping, new trees, and convenient parking for adjacent retail; 2) existing redwood trees presented an opportunity for contextual preservation, providing both definition and tranquility for the new park space and pedestrian connections to trails, while preserving the existing character of local streets; and 3) a wide variety of street frontages face the project site, ranging from regional collector streets with commercial frontage to local neighborhood streets with suburban residential frontage, providing an opportunity for differentiation in building character. Our architectural response was to provide additional setbacks and locate commercial services on the ground floor of busy streets, creating civil scale. Our design variations relate to nearby commercial and office buildings with a wide variety of roofline heights and setbacks, which brought buildings down to residential scale; ground floor stoops enhance the site’s “walkable” nature.