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Posts tagged ‘Project Profile’

Valley Health Center Downtown San Jose: Project Profile

Situated at a transit gateway to downtown San Jose, the Valley Health Center connects three vicinities that have lacked medical services.  The 62,000 s.f. facility, raised on the grounds of the old San Jose Medical Center, serves a young, multi-ethnic population with a high dependence on public healthcare.  A wide range of outpatient services are offered, including family medicine, pediatrics, ob/gyn, laboratory, pharmacy, radiology and behavioral health.  An urgent care clinic is also featured that is open for extended hours seven days a week. The LEED Gold certified facility acknowledges the unique heritage and setting of downtown San Jose and pays tribute to the surrounding architecture.  The center features rhythmic placement of colored glass fins and integrated sunshade screens with use of multi-color glass panels throughout.

The building envelope allows in natural light but keeps out heat and solar exposure in the warm climate.  Visitors encounter natural light, wood paneling, clear wayfinding, and an LED star ceiling.  Large, sunny waiting rooms on upper levels afford views, and waiting room walls are treated for noise reduction.

Many clients will rely on public transit, and the facility is located at a transit gateway to downtown, served by a major bus corridor and future BART station.  Additional elements include:

  • Community connectivity – pedestrian-friendly open spaces;
  • Cool roof and reflective site paving;
  • Water efficient plumbing fixtures;
  • Minimized irrigation of landscaping; reclaimed water use;
  • High performance building envelope with solar control to minimize heat loss / gain
  • Abundant daylight and views in public areas
  • Thermal comfort with healthy, energy-efficient ventilation system for indoor spaces;
  • Reduced indoor air pollution with non-toxic building materials and furniture;
  • Use of sustainably harvested wood;
  • High percentage of recycled construction waste;
  • A PG&E Savings by Design rebate of $150,000 that exceeds California Title 24 standards.

Project Team

Architect: Ratcliff
Photographer: David Wakely
General Contractor: FLINT
Construction Manager: URS Corporation
Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
Mechanical Engineer: Mazzetti (MEP)
Electrical Engineer: Mazzetti (MEP)
Plumbing Engineer: Mazzetti (MEP)
Civil Engineer: Brian Kangas Foulk (BKF)
Geotechnical Engineer: Sandis
Landscape Consultant: MPA Design
Telecom Consultant: Mazzetti
Acoustic Consultant: Charles Salter & Associates
Cost Consultant: Cumming
Environmental Consultant:  Terracon
Waterproofing Consultant: SGH
Signage Consultant: Kate Keating
Security Consultant: Guidepost Solutions
Elevator Consultant: Syska Hennessey
Hardware Consultant: Stanley Spec Center Services

Lafayette Backyard: Project Profile

The owner of this Lafayette property wanted to demolish the existing backyard structures and completely redesign the yard. They wanted to include a new garage, outdoor kitchen, lounge, patio, swimming pool with a waterfall, cabaña and fireplace covered with a mechanical, louvered trellis. They wanted the new work to complement their existing craftsman style house, while remaining a calm and clean-lined design.

Since this was a landscape-heavy project, I brought in Joseph Huettl, the landscape architect, and collaborated with him to establish the site layout and detailing.

Each structure had different levels of detailing. The garage was a stripped-down version of the existing hip-roofed house and the fireplace/kitchen/lounge trellis and cabaña had flat roofs, which were expressed with modernist detailing. The buildings were laid out so the outdoor fireplace and lounge were adjacent to the house. The garage was placed further from the house, and the pool and cabaña were furthest. This created a pattern of alternating traditional and modern structures in a comfortable progression away from the house.

A major problem arose when we found that since the garage required a double-width car access, it pushed the kitchen/lounge structure to the center of the house, blocking the view of the yard. We solved this by allowing a 10ft. wide driveway to pass the house and garage to a motor court which accessed the garage from the rear. This freed the space between the house and garage for the kitchen/lounge area, allowing views of the pool from the house.

We stained he wood structures to match the existing house colors. The wall which screens the motor court behind the garage and carries the fountain, was built of stone to match the house, and the patios were rendered in limestone matching existing paving. This unified the project into strong visual continuum.

Andre Ptaszynski, AIA, Architect
Joseph Huettl, Landscape Architect
Asha Engineers, Structural Engineer
Midas Construction, Builder
Envision Landscape Studio, Landscape Construction
Riviera Pools, Pool Construction
Joseph Huettl, Photography

Glimmer by Variable Projects: Project Profile

Glimmer is a dynamic installation for San Francisco’s Market Street that invites passersby to enter, touch, and interact with a plush thicket of colorful suspended filaments. These strands, consisting of colored paracord suspended from a simple steel and wire mesh canopy, are cut at varying lengths to form a single volume reminiscent of an architectural vault. The structure’s colorful softness provides a welcome diversion from the everyday pedestrian experience—an immersive, tactile oasis of brightness within the urban landscape.

The installation reinterprets the typology of a masonry vault—typically heavy, solid, and static—and recasts it as a light, porous, and highly dynamic structure. Glimmer dematerializes a familiar symbol of structure, stability and fixity into a kaleidoscopic, indeterminate environment of fibrous material that is constantly in flux. Its mirage-like quality—disappearing, then reappearing, as it indexes the changing sunlight and local airflows along Market Street—generates multiple readings at multiple scales for passersby. From afar, the hanging cords coalesce into the form of a solid vault; yet this figure is constantly shifting as it reacts to the airflow of its surrounding environment. As visitors approach the installation, they are encouraged to enter and inhabit the structure’s soft “poché,” and to touch and interact with the soft hanging cords.

Glimmer was commissioned for the Market Street Prototyping Festival, a design competition jointly sponsored by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and San Francisco Planning Department that challenged artist and architects to reimagine public infrastructure along the city’s primary urban thoroughfare. For four days in October 2016, Glimmer was installed on Market Street in San Francisco’s Financial District, where thousands of pedestrians interacted with the bright, colorful, and dynamic addition to the streetscape. The structure attracted people of all ages, sizes, backgrounds, and dispositions to depart from their conventional day-to-day sidewalk routine and engage in a moment of light playfulness that is not commonly seen in the urban realm.

Project Credits:
Client: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts / San Francisco Planning Department
Design: Adam Marcus, Frederico Leite Gonçalves, Sean Gentry
Steel Fabrication: Nicholson Design & Fabrication
Fabrication & Assembly Team: Adam Marcus, Sean Gentry, Mark Nicholson, Gabriel Ascanio, Rajah Bose, Jenny Gonzalez, De Huynh, Jonathan Joong, Eva Lai, Mrnalini Mills-Raghavan, Skye Pan, Ernesto Preciado-Canez, Nicolas Cilloniz Tanji, Joaquin Tobar Martinez, Dustin Tisdale
Photography: Joseph Chang, Adam Marcus
Thanks to: CCA Digital Craft Lab, Tristan Randall / Autodesk

The Backhouse: Project Profile

Barbara K. Westover, AIA, Architect had a client who desired to remodel their existing Piedmont “Backhouse” into a functional second unit. It was a Sisyphean endeavor but with a good ending.


There were many obstacles. The existing structure put the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) well over acceptable limit, encroached 6” onto the neighboring property, was resting on the sewer line and over a cleanout manhole and had a negative reception from one neighbor.

The client requirements included a full kitchen, comfortably sized bathroom, washer/dryer, dining area, king sized private bedroom, social area with a large screen TV and lots of storage. We accomplished all requirements, but downsized the bed from a king to a queen.

We were permitted with conditions: build on the existing footprint, re-use the existing materials, remove the encroachment, create access for the manhole and comply with codes.

The 380sf backhouse has a central spine that supports a crown of windows – Gambrel forms at the ends to be contextual with the house style and vertical clerestory windows longitudinally. With a top height over 15’ the windows direct light into the space all day.

The kitchen is a one-person domain with a full sized refrigerator, small electric oven, dishwasher drawer, and a two-burner cooktop. A cookie tray can be washed flat in the sink and the counter extends flush into the bay window. To make the social space more unified, the door to the bathroom is set into a patterned wall with a touch latch spring opener.

Storage is generous throughout the space. A podium for the queen sized bed provides extra storage along with the loft, accessible with an attic stair in the bedroom ceiling, and above the seating in the social space. Lighting throughout the space includes Solatubes, fluorescent cove lighting, down lights and task lights. The heater is located in an accessible space under the house.

The project works like functional art, but creating it was more like ship building. The clients, however, were pleased and enthusiastic with the final product.

Megan Carter, CB Design: Project Profile

Lagom – a Swedish word with no exact translation in English – is a term that you might recall from the Goldilocks story as “not too much, not too little, but just right.” This word is the perfect way to describe this single family renovation and addition to a 1948 suburban, ranch-style home.  The transformation took a modest 1100 sq. ft. home into a light-filled retreat with a wall of glass facing the park-like greenery of the backyard.

The completed Roberta Avenue project created a family friendly residence with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.  An open living/dining/kitchen area acts as the central gathering space and separates the master suite from the other two bedrooms.  The resulting 2081 sq. ft. residence still maintains a compact and efficient footprint while providing adequate room for a growing family.

Maintaining a similar massing to the rest of the neighborhood was an important consideration at the refreshed street-facing facade.  At the rear yard, the contemporary cedar wrapped box master suite is juxtaposed with a simple gable roof addition that integrates with the existing house.  The project incorporated several special features including a translucent wall, concealed open pantry, and indoor/outdoor connection with window walls at the front porch, rear dining wall and master bedroom.  At the exterior, the contemporary landscape includes some playful components including a grass-covered mound with a tunnel and vertical herb planter screens.  The centrally located kitchen, finished with marine grade plywood, plastic laminate fronts, white Corian countertops and locally sourced accent tiles, acts as the gathering place for family dinners and parties alike.

The materials are both economical and durable for a family with young children.  A similar palette is used at the kid’s bathroom and master bathroom. The house’s refreshed design is emblematic of modern California living.  The result is a daylight filled interior that connects seamlessly to a private outdoor living space filled with drought-tolerant vegetation.

Architect: Megan Carter, CB Design

Contractor MK Construction

Landscape Design/Build: Envision Landscape Studio

Photographer: Eric Rorer

Staging: Visual Jill

Mexpo International: Project Profile

Project By: Lawrence Rugg  Architecture

Mexpo International is a company that provides supplies for the medical industry and is located in Union City. They recently purchased a 28,000 square foot tilt-up concrete structure that had been a supply depot for the trucking industry, which included 2,000 square feet of office space on the ground floor and a mezzanine at one end of the building.

The location was ideal for Mexpo since it was located near I-880 and had sufficient square footage for their warehouse and shipping/receiving needs, however, the building’s office space was dark, cramped, and uninviting and the exterior and grounds needed refurbishing.  Mexpo also planned to have their clients and business partners visit their facility and wanted to have a facility that provided a progressive image.  The result was a commitment to completely retroffiting and expanding the office area to receive visitors and to provide a productive and attractive workplace for their employees.

The existing mezzanine was removed to create a 25-foot, floor-to-roof open space for the reception, open office, and break areas that runs from the front to the back of the structure. Skylights were added to the roof, existing mezzanine windows were retained, and new windows were added at the front and back of the space.  A small, open mezzanine was added near the back that houses an employee conference room above and an I.T. room below.  This mezzanine also divides the open office from the break room at the rear, which opens onto a new back patio for employees.  At the front, a seven-foot-high partition screens the open office from the reception area, private offices, a conference room for visitors and new restrooms.  The entire exterior was painted, landscaped, a new screen for the building transformer was added and the parking area was resurfaced and restriped.

Project Profile: Eviva Mission Bay

Eviva Mission Bay, designed by LDA Architects, Inc. offered imposing challenges that were developed into unique design opportunities. The property is situated between established, industrial buildings, with a railroad yard and a freeway ramp to the north and a budding residential neighborhood to the south. It is an odd-shaped lot that presses tightly against the curve of the off-ramp. This created a few challenges for any units along the north side – the quality of life for the residents of those units is important to protect. Light, air and views became paramount concerns in the design of those units. Environmental issues created by the traffic noise and air quality compound the burden.

The design team wanted to shield those units from the challenges imposed by the freeway, yet pay homage to the industrial history of the neighborhood. To accomplish this, LDA proposed a corrugated steel skin to buffer the noise and to offer the impression of a protective barrier – using Corten steel of highway guard rails and the siding of choice for heavy, industrial buildings. This skin floats above the parking level, curving in response to the sweeping arc of the off-ramp and wrapping around the east to present this materiality to the descending traffic.

Balcony rails appear to “peel away” from the exterior metal, for added texture while offering protection to the shallow balconies behind them. Clad in a perforated version of the corrugated siding, they match the long, random panels that cover the numerous exhaust vents that are now invisible behind these masks. Wide, shallow windows channel interior views towards the distant San Francisco skyline, and in sync with the peeling balconies and long, perforated vents, reduce the frenetic pace of the freeway.

Along Berry Street, the scale of the neighborhood changes, as does the façade. This is the residential side of the site. This south facing side is much more open, bright and playful. A seemingly random assortment of bays, balconies and recesses are apparent among the grid that dominates the pattern down to a pedestrian level. The street level contains private stoops with bright, unique colored doors that define the personal space of these garden units. The skin is embellished with glass bars that are inset to refract light and promote interest to passing pedestrians. Windows along this south side face the sidewalk to create a connection between residents and their passing neighbors.

The interior courtyard at the podium level adjoins the open space at the neighboring development, creating a larger area of light and air. A fitness room sits below a living roof, clad in the corrugated metal of the north side, while colorful patterns replicate the look and feel of the streetscape, allowing for a conjoining of the two languages at the garden.

Project Profile: San Ramon Custom Home

Architect: James P Gibbon, AIA

This custom home is designed for a growing family. Located on Tassajara Road near San Ramon, it is set to be completed in late 2019 and occupied in early 2020. It is being designed in the twentieth century modern architectural motif. At present, the project is in the production drawing stage.

The house is two stories above the basement garage. It includes indoor and exterior pools, a roof skydeck, solar panels and wind turbines for supplemental energy. The home consists of 20,000 sq. ft. of living space with a 2,500 sq. ft. six car garage. The property consists of six acres of sloped site with a high plateau where the home will be located. The site will include a 12,000 sq. ft. fish pond, tram lift and roadway bridge to the home. The house is designed in a 1930’s modern architectural style, unlike other homes in San Ramon.

The entrance is oriented to the East to maximize privacy. The home is designed to meet the requirements of the family for ample living and entertainment space. It is designed to accommodate three or four generations of family members in the Indian tradition of each generation taking care of its elders in the home.

The home will have eight bedrooms, each with a bathroom and walk-in closet. It will include a media room, wine cellar and a lap pool in the solarium. It will have a porte-cochere, a two-story grand entry staircase and a garden wall. There will be an elevator and central stairway that provides access to four levels of the house. The home will includes two laundry rooms, a home office, a study, a full service pantry and butler’s pantry. There will be fully covered balconies on the main and upper levels, positioned at strategic locations around the home to provide sheltered exterior living space.

Architect – James P Gibbon, AIA

Structural Engineer – CHG Engineers

Civil Engineer – Debolt Civil Engineering

Soils Engineering – John Campbell + Associates

Title 24 – West Coast Energy Design

Kitchen Remodel in Oakland Mid-Century Modern Home

When the current owners purchased it, this home came with a cramped and very dated kitchen.  Originally surrounded on two sides by a walkway and deck, it had been remodeled by the previous owners to enclose this exterior space, creating a corner dining room and visually extending the kitchen.  The original exterior walls had been left in place with the window openings turned into pass-throughs, but that left the kitchen landlocked with none of its openings on the exterior of the building.  This created a very confined and dark room that was out of step with the rest of this relatively bright home with large living spaces.

Daniel M Swain, AIA had a plan to remove the original exterior walls and extend the kitchen by opening the space up to the dining room. This created bay views on one side and family room and backyard views on the other. This required some significant structural work to re-support the roof and ceiling, as well as a seismic upgrade to the rest of the structure. The kitchen is now open to the rest of the house, bright and functional, while maintaining the mid-century roots of the home.

For the finishes we replaced the raised panel, oak cabinets, tile countertops and red, clay tile floors. We replaced them with solid walnut cabinets, Princess White quartzite counter-tops, matte green glass subway backsplash and stainless steel appliances, and reused the sub-zero refrigerator. The owners were enamored with white marble, but opted instead for the lower maintenance requirements of the very white quartzite. The floor is long-dimension, textured porcelain tile giving a rich, dark look while being resistant to almost any damage.

Architect: Daniel M Swain, Architect

Contractor: Peter J Curlee Construction

Structural Engineer: Erik Andersen

Cabinet Maker: John Wilson

Photo Credit: Leori Gill

Project Profile: Belmont Country Homes

The featured project depicts the first two homes out of a six-unit high-end speculative development, located in the mid-Peninsula town of Belmont, for which Hayes Shair Architecture was also the developer/builder.  The project team was confronted with the challenges of a steep site, a stringent set of local design guidelines, and vocal neighborhood groups.  Each home was custom designed for its specific lot which included downslope, upslope, and flat configurations, simultaneously maximizing the allowable floor areas while preserving massing articulation and streetscape variety.

The downslope configuration of these first two lots informed many of the design decisions and presented both challenges and opportunities for innovation.  From the public road, the building appears as a single story home, with context-sensitive detailing to minimize bulk.  But immediately upon entry, the homeowner is greeted with a modern, voluminous living area, realized through the use of scissor-truss cathedral ceilings and an open circulation plan, and culminating at an all-weather deck with breathtaking views of the Belmont Hills.  The slope of the site allowed for full-height crawl-space understories, which provided additional bonus spaces for storage and mechanical equipment.

Each home made provisions for a flat, usable backyard, an added amenity for many hillside residences.  Green features include 2×6 (R-19 insulated) exterior construction, dual-pane glazing, tankless water heaters, smart irrigation sensors, occupant-controlled high-efficacy lighting throughout, and on-site stormwater filtration.

For the project team, the most enduring lesson was the benefit of a proactive neighborhood and agency engagement process, which secured critical stakeholder buy-in during a no-growth political climate.  Both the city and the developer walked away feeling that neither design quality nor financial feasibility were compromised, and could be proud of the collaborative results.

At this time, the first downsloped pair are built and sold, the second flat lot pair are currently under construction, and the final upsloped pair are breaking ground this spring.

Architect – Hayes Shair Architecture
Architect of Record – Fred Strathdee Design & Development
Structural Engineer – Chu Design & Associates
Landscape – Kikuchi Kankel Design Group
Civil Engineer – Underwood & Rosenblum
Soils Engineer – CAPEX Engineering
General Contractor – Dennis Liu Construction
Photo Credit – Edigitaltours