- Muralist : Mona Caron
- Developer : MidPen Housing Corp
- City : Union City
- Country : United States
Text description provided by the architects. Station Center is at the heart of Union City’s vision to create the Station District, a vibrant city center bustling with neighborhood retail, community parks and high-quality housing.
Enabled by the Proposition 1C TOD voter-approved bond program, Station Center Family Housing is the affordable inclusionary component of the Union City Master Plan, which calls for Union City BART Station to be revamped into an intermodal station.
The LEED for Homes Platinum development stands on a former brownfield site sandwiched between the existing commuter and freight lines and currently cut off from the BART station by tracks.
The workforce housing comprises 157 affordable rental units in two buildings that frame a public playground and overlook a new plaza and eventual direct connection to the BART station.
The building is ringed with active edges: The elevation along the main thoroughfare is lined with retail arcade that is soon to house a corner caféand a market. Along the smaller residential streets, additional public and private entryways connect to the sidewalk. At the rear, the housing "wraps" the neighborhood-serving garage, shielding it from view. The garage serves to buffer the housing from the sound of the adjacent rail line.
Inside, the central community room connects to a fitness center and pool deck, and opens entirely to a grand courtyard, creating a large indoor-outdoor gathering space.The courtyardfeatures allotment gardens for residents, formal and informal seating areas, and a play yard populated by playful concrete gorillas.The Bay-Friendly Rated landscape design will save 193,282 gallons of water per year compared with a conventionally landscaped property.
The main entry is framed by a towering portal that is adorned with a community-sourced mural visible from the neighborhood and train line. The mural, inspired by an intrepid local plant pushing through the broken concrete, reaches to the sky, while the flower is "rooted" at ground level in multi-lingual messages of welcome contributed by new residents.
Says one nine-year-old who lives in the building: “Everyone here has roots in different parts of the world, and together we grow and blossom as a community.”