Conceptual design and entitlements for an affordable, multi-family rental housing development in Oakland.

This project will provide desperately needed affordable housing for veterans and formerly homeless veterans, as well as help to improve a blighted urban neighborhood in downtown Oakland.

Embark Apartments will consist of a six story podium building, with approximately 66 residential units intended for veteran housing. The ground floor will include community spaces, retail spaces, administrative offices, and a tenant suite for a social services organization. The design is equipped with energy efficient standards, with a sixth level common room and sky deck providing a common indoor outdoor space with dramatic views to the Oakland and San Francisco skyline and sunset views.

The design and building massing is sensitive to the neighboring buildings and will greatly enhance the quality and safety of the neighborhood. An active ground level – enhanced with a potential neighborhood cafe – supports the transformation, and the lower floor is designed to be friendly to the street with a lot of large windows and an attractive human scaled design.

In order to successfully create a high density residential project on a small infill site while also creating an active and lively street edge to help improve the safety and beauty of the neighborhood, SGPA was involved in several community meetings to listen to the needs and goals for this project. Incorporating our findings into the design, the project was granted unanimous approval by the city planning commission. As a site with limited area, innovative parking solutions include multi-car stackers. Utilizing puzzle stacker lifts on the ground level creates an efficient upper level building plan while providing good light, air, and privacy for the residents, effectively allowing more space for active uses on the ground level such as the lobby, support services, and a potential neighborhood cafe.   

 

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