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Merritt Crossing / LMS Architects

  • Architects: Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects
  • Location: Oakland, California, United States
  • Design Team: Richard Stacy, Claudia Merzario
  • Structural: KPFF
  • Landscape: Cliff Lowe Associates
  • Mechanical: MHC Engineers
  • Electrical: C&N Engineers
  • Client: Affordable Housing Associates
  • Area: 0.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Tim Griffith

© Tim Griffith © Tim Griffith © Tim Griffith © Tim Griffith

From the architect. The building was arranged along the long edge (Sixth Street) of the corner site in order to reserve a twenty foot sideyard for a sunny landscaped courtyard and garden. This configuration also allows the courtyard to be directly linked to the ground floor community room, kitchen, laundry and entrance on Oak Street. The courtyard garden is designed as a series of outdoor spaces from community to more private activities.

© Tim Griffith
© Tim Griffith

The high ceiling ground floor areas are surrounded by glass walls to enhance the visual connectivity of the community spaces and the public sidewalk. The footprint of the required on-site parking is reduced by the use of stacked parking lifts. The parking garage is wrapped with green screen panels that will create a living wall along the sidewalk and courtyard. In addition, planting beds are tucked under the street side of the building and double function as storm water retention tanks. By reducing the visual footprint of the ground floor level, the upper floors appear to float above which lightens their impact. The upper floors are organized into two parallel bands of apartments separated by a wide hallway combined with the fire stairs and elevators.

© Tim Griffith
© Tim Griffith

The ends of the hallways are open with large windows to provide views and introduce daylight. Many of the apartments are provided with balconies that are recessed into the building mass. On the south (red) façade, the balconies are part of a recessed zone that mitigates the visual and noise impact of the adjacent freeway at the same time providing solar shading. The variety of openings and plant supporting mesh panels provides a freeway scale composition. On the north (green) faced the opening configuration provides a scale and variety compatible with the adjacent residential neighborhood. The building’s color scheme accentuates the separation between the two bars of apartments and between the outer building “skin” and the internal balconies and voids. 

© Tim Griffith
© Tim Griffith
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:"Merritt Crossing / LMS Architects" 21 Sep 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>