2024 Lecture Series: Housing

The Bay Area is experiencing a housing crisis and these architects pursue quality design for housing with tight budgets – join us for a conversation about two incredible projects – Casa Arabella and HOPE Center & Berkeley Way Apartments – that prove beautiful affordable housing is possible.

Project 1: Casa Arabella

Casa Arabella is a model transit-oriented development for the Bay Area. Its thoughtful, innovative, efficient design maximizes use of its trapezoidal site while creating a new supportive community. The project matches the ambition and generosity of the landmark Fruitvale Transit Village, for which this project is a subsequent phase of development.

A mix of townhomes and flats are arranged around three courtyards to create a simultaneously outward- and inward-facing community. The courtyards and open-air walkways ensure residents have access to through-ventilation and shared outdoor space while reducing overall energy demand. The townhomes along East 12th Street include front stoops and balconies, while apartments along the BART tracks are equipped with sound-insulating windows. A pedestrian path on the BART frontage connects neighbors with Fruitvale Station, and a paseo anticipates an adjacent development that will complete the Transit Village. A ground floor community room positioned between the main courtyard and paseo joins other resident amenities including a computer lab, bike room, parking garage, laundry, package lockers, and offices for supportive services.

Michael Pyatok | Architect

Michael Pyatok has been an activist, architect, and professor of architectural design for more than 50 years. Since opening his office in 1984 in Oakland, California, Mike has designed over 50,000 units of housing for lower-income households, students, seniors, and market-rate renters and owners in the United States and abroad. His participatory design approach has brought clients, users, and community members into collaboration, and has helped participants visualize ideas and evaluate choices. Mike has built a legacy of helping communities plan, design, and execute new housing, neighborhood plans, and community facilities.

Liz Probst | Client

Project 2: HOPE Center & Berkeley Way Apartments

The Hope Center and Berkeley Way Apartments provides innovative, new, affordable housing spanning four typologies that addresses housing and food insecurity in its community, serving as a model for other communities. By co-locating the full spectrum of housing, shelter, food and critical supportive services for people experiencing housing and food insecurity, the project benefits from both greater operational efficiencies and stronger community impact. Since a disproportionate number of unhoused people experience physical and cognitive disabilities, economical Universal Design strategies throughout welcome people of all abilities.

Since under resourced populations are most vulnerable to impacts of the climate emergency, the project integrates a wide range of resilience, sustainability, universal design, wellness, and decarbonization strategies to provide safe, healthy, and resilient homes. By integrating these, the project proves that thoughtful design isn’t just for the few – it’s emphatically for everyone.

Vanna Whitney | Architect

Committed to underserved communities and environmental and social sustainability, Vanna regards good design as fundamental to social justice. She is dedicated to listening to and interpreting clients’ needs in built form. In her more than eighteen years with Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, Vanna has contributed to many of the firm’s mission driven projects. Vanna is currently serving as principal in charge for 850 Harrison (Stage 2 of TSA’s Way Out program) and 967 Mission (very low income housing for seniors in the Mission District), her most recently completed projects include the award-winning HomeRise at Mission Bay (Permanent Supportive Housing) and the Berkeley Way Apartments (affordable family housing) and Hope Center (dense blend of food and health services as well as a shelter, transitional housing and PSH). Other of her projects include Rene Cazenave Apartments, supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals in the Transbay neighborhood of San Francisco and for 474 Natoma, an affordable family housing South of Market in San Francisco). Vanna’s commitment to serve the community extends beyond her work in the firm. She is an assistant cook for the Streetmeal program in Berkeley, has provided her time and design expertise to Habitat for Humanity, and is on the board of the East Bay Housing Organization (EBHO). Vanna is a registered architect in the state of California with degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of California, Berkeley.

Kathy Treggiari & John McCall | Clients

Jaime Matheron | Moderator

Jaime is a licensed architect and Principal at DAHLIN. Born and raised in the East Bay, she has always been passionate about the charm of the Bay Area. With an expertise in residential design, she is equally adept at leading teams in serving the goals and needs of established, experienced homebuilders as she is at coaching emerging builders for success.

A graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, she initially began her career designing K-12 educational architecture. As an active member of AIA, she became co-chair of AIA East Bay’s Young Architects/Emerging Professionals Committee in 2021, was elected to the AIA East Bay Board of Directors in 2022, and is currently the Vice President for 2024.

Jaime has a passion for community involvement and volunteering. She is a founder and leader of DAHLIN Barkitecture, a design build competition that has raised funds in support of several animal rescue organizations while providing hands-on construction experience for young architects. She has been a long-time volunteer of mentorship programs for students and emerging professionals, and she loves sharing insight on the profession with aspiring young designers.


Jul 18 2024


6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Jul 18 2024
  • Time: 9:00 pm - 10:30 pm


AIA East Bay
AIA East Bay
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