Posted: 22 Mar 2013 08:08 AM PDT
For more than two decades, a high-crime light-rail stop at a toxic empty lot; now, a sustainable affordable housing development and new gateway to downtown.
This new affordable rental building remediates a toxic site, bolsters important local electrical and storm-water infrastructure, and brings compact transit oriented homes to a neglected area.
The project provides 63 affordable homes for local singles and families earning between 30 and 50% of area median income.
Taking a strong stand along the rail line, the building provides new neighborhood-serving spaces and puts eyes on the street with private balconies, an outdoor lobby and stair tower, and bridge ways that create views at all levels and on all sides of the site.
The street level facing the light-rail station is activated by new commercial space and a café. An open-air stair and bridge emphasizes walk-ability and social interaction. The building provides secure indoor and outdoor bicycle parking.
At ground level, a long span of glass, masked with a "bar-code" mural spelling the building name, illuminates the night sidewalk with a mellow glow while ensuring privacy for the community room inside.
The larger development includes this project – a high-density, 76 unit/acre property with a mix of housing types – located alongside a row of zero-net-energy townhomes by YHLA Architects. Community space and services for both projects are provided on this site.
The sustainable strategies for this project should be understood within the larger context of the whole development, which was planned to transform a high-crime, neglected site next to one of the most utilized transit stops in Sacramento into a diverse, high-density, transit-oriented, mixed-use gateway to the downtown area.
A series of complementary simple and readily available green strategies were employed to reduce the negative impacts of the building on the site, while enhancing measures that improve quality of life for residents.
Site constraints placed most units facing east and west, and heat gain was minimized by facing windows north and south around balconies, minimizing west-facing glazing, and allowing the cladding material to double as a sun shade. A 34 kW rooftop PV array provides a portion of common-area electricity. The project also features low-impact materials, including low-VOC interiors, permeable paving, and drought-tolerant landscaping.
Low-energy and low-maintenance technologies such as LED fixtures in the corridors and high-reflectance roofing contributed to the building exceeding Title 24 by 10%.
+ Project facts
Project: La Valentina Station
Architect: David Baker + Partners
Location: Sacramento, California
Client: Domus Development
Date of occupancy: July 2012
Square footage: 67,356sf
Site area: 36,124sf
Construction cost: $14m
Contractor: Brown Construction
Software used: Revit
Awards: "Best Infill Project of 2011-12", Sacramento Business Journal
Photographer: Bruce Damonte
+ All images & drawings courtesy David Baker + Partners | photo by Bruce Damonte
Posted: 22 Mar 2013 08:23 AM PDT
Joao Morgado shared with us one of his architectural photography. Designed by Topiaris, Landscape Architecture + Gonçalo Salazar de Sousa, Architects, the landscape project is located in Comporta, Portugal.
The key concept is to regenerate the terrain – severely damaged by the construction works of the house, following a specific design – inspired on the natural patterns of the surrounding landscape.
The plantation of native species was carried out through clusters with small elevations, which are expected to gradually expand to lower adjacent areas fostering an evolutionary dynamics.
This ecological evolution has a positive impact in terms of landscape aesthetics, translated into changeable and transitory scenarios, which at some point will merge with the surrounding woodland.
+ Project facts
Landscape Architecture: Topiaris, Landscape Architecture
+ All images courtesy Joao Morgado
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