FROM THE AIA:
The project excels at providing safe, nurturing, healthy and affordable residences for Oakland seniors with incomes between 30% and 50% of area median. Over one half of the apartments were set aside for seniors who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, living with HIV/AIDS or challenged by mental illness. The project is a high-density residential development with a mix of studios; one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments that were thoughtfully fit intos its downtown Oakland site between an inner city neighborhood and a freeway.
The integration of community room, supportive services, communal laundry, lobby and garden courtyard on the ground floor were designed to mitigate senior isolation and foster a sense of community among the residents.
The colorful building design responds to its location at the edge of downtown Oakland’s eclectic and historic Chinatown. The south side of the building facing the freeway has a layered façade that provides solar and acoustical mitigation while creating a varied experience for passing drivers.
To control operating costs for the non-profit owner, the project was constructed for enhanced durability, weather protection and energy use. Dedicated to high environmental standards, the developer focused on healthy living and energy savings while electing to test a combination of sustainability rating systems. Two renewable energy systems – solar hot water panels and photovoltaic electric panels – cover the roof and reduce common area energy use. The building was designed to use 46% less energy than the average multi-family housing.
For more information, please visit http://www.aia.org/practicing/awards/2014/housing-awards/MerrittCrossing/