Lakeside Senior Apartments
Architect: David Baker Architects
Owner: Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA)
Location: Oakland, California
Project site: Previously developed land
Building program type(s): Residential – Multi-Family 5 or more units
The building provides 92 permanently affordable homes for low-income and special-needs, formerly homeless seniors, many of whom had been displaced by rising Bay Area housing costs. This site previously served as the underused parking lot for adjacent senior housing. The new building accommodates lost parking and adds capacity in a below-grade garage topped by five levels of housing and community spaces. The design underwent early variations as the developer acquired and incorporated small, irregular adjacent sites. The final assembled site offered additional capacity and a regular shape, which streamlined design. The goals were to add comprehensive affordable housing and supportive services, activate sidewalks to increase safety and enjoyment, and create a sense of place. This building brings focus to an area with an existing senior community, good transit, and vital neighborhood resources. A central courtyard lined with a transparent glass fence provides a protected space with a visual connection to the larger neighborhood. The top-floor community suite—garden, event kitchen, and wellness room— provides sweeping lake views for all residents. Care was taken to step the building massing down toward the lake, emphasizing the proximity to this wonderful urban resource and protecting neighbors’ light and views. The developer had a LEED goal from the outset. Shared by the design team, this goal informed all decisions about materials and systems, inspiring a range of complementary strategies that resulted in Platinum status. The building design begins with a tight envelope and massing articulation that responds to orientation. Strategies focus on reducing energy and water demand first, followed by efficient, cost-effective equipment that needs minimal maintenance and takes advantage of heat recovery and solar energy to reduce loads and offer multiplying benefits. For example, heat recovery ventilators in units provide balanced ventilation, improve comfort, and increase building durability while limiting cost burdens for low-income residents.