San Pablo Avenue 2747, LLC
40 residential + 4 retail with Cafe or 2 live-work with Cafe
Entitled September 2007
Located on a newly revitalizing flatlands transit corridor in Berkeley, 2747 SPA (San Pablo Avenue) is a 40-unit,LEED Silver-Certified green condominium community. As urban infill on a one-lot deep transit corridor bordering the rear yards of older single family residences, a tough design challenge faced TDA: how to reinforce the street wall of the San Pablo Avenue boulevard units with a strong, mixed-use, pedestrian friendly facade whose height and build-to line makes the street a“room”; while— within the depth of one lot—transitioning to a form that respects the residential scale of its neighbors to the rear. TDA’s design solution, which starts at a street front 50 feet tall, trifurcates the building form’s implied rectangular prism by: 1) carving out two podium courtyards 2) stepping the building down to a height of 32 feet for the rear 46 feet of the lot, and 3) wrapping four residential townhouses over the rear of the parking podium down to grade level, facing thirteen foot deep private gardens. The result is a building that rises to its urban design challenge while respecting —and reflecting— its context.
The units at 2747 SPA vary from flats and lofts facing San Pablo Avenue to studios and townhouses that give out onto the podium courtyards. Opportunities for casual interaction as residents come and go are designed into the project in the form of courtyards planted with native vegetation—some chosen to specifically attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Virtually all units at 2747 SPA benefit from natural cross ventilation and natural light on at least two, usually three sides. Two live-work units face San Pablo Avenue, which, along with a café in the commercial space, will ensure an activated pedestrian front.
As a green project—beyond its contribution to sprawlreduction as a LEED certified transit-oriented, high-density infill development, 2747 SPA also scores high marks under the Alameda County Stop Waste Multi-family Green Design Guidelines. The project was designed in close collaboration with Assembly Architecture in Berkeley.