d street housing - sacramento, california
D Street Housing is an eight-unit residential development on a 0.4 acre lot on D Street in Sacramento, California, marking the threshold between the dense urban fabric of homes on 15th Street and the larger-scale commercial structures on 16th Street. Four of the eight dwelling units, grouped in twin pairs of two-story buildings, are located directly along D Street, where they repair the historic street edge established by the two existing adjacent buildings; the other four units sit in the back of the lot, pushed closely to the property line along the existing alley to maximize the size of an open, landscaped space, a communal green core bracketed by the buildings in the front and back and shared by all residents.
The proposed design, while unapologetically contemporary, is based on a careful study of Mansion Flats’ existing housing stock, creating a respectful addition to an area with a diverse and balanced mix of architectural styles, roof forms, and façade materials. Most of the existing homes in the neighborhood are simple, two-story forms articulated by additive features such as porches, living room bays, or garages. Adopting this formal strategy and echoing the volumetric rhythm of its neighbors, each building of Mansion Flats Modern is composed of an elongated stucco volume that is complemented by a varnished wood ribbon. Adding a natural, warm counterpoint to the overall material palette, the wood ribbon wraps an upper-level cantilever that slightly rises above the main roofline. The wood-clad cantilever, as well as the recessed garage bay and entry door, break down the perceived building mass and establish a deep, rhythmic profile along D Street. Not merely an exterior appliqué, the wood ribbon is instead an integral design element that ties together the building’s interior and exterior, folding into each house as a wood ceiling that delineates the first floor living hall.