sacramento housing - sacramento, california
Sacramento Housing comprises three separate multi-unit urban infill projects in Sacramento, CA, which are currently in development and slated for construction in 2016. The first project will occupy a currently vacant on 2nd Avenue, creating a small community of individual houses whose architecture embraces and celebrates the creative and buoyant energy that has propelled the ongoing renaissance of this culturally and socially diverse area. Carefully proportioned to echo the massing and scale of the area’s existing building stock, the proposed houses are simple, two-story volumes, their appearance crisp but deliberately playful in a nod to the progressive and artsy spirit permeating the neighborhood. Each house consists of two principal, interlocking components, a light-grey ground-level base and a darker-grey volume above. On the upper level, the south façade transforms into an articulated field of vertical louvers that act as both sun screen and critical compositional device. The metered spacing of the louvers sets up a deeply textured, dynamic cadence; the prismatic colors complement the home’s otherwise neutral, muted tones and cheerfully reverberate the vivid, kaleidoscopic palette of buildings and murals nearby.
The second project is located on a block bracketed between Yale Street and Broadway and addresses the very different urban conditions and building typologies surrounding the site, mediating between the loosely spaced, predominantly commercial structures on busy Broadway and the dense, low-rise homes on quiet Yale Street. Three-story buildings on Broadway add a robust urban presence to the currently fragmented street edge and take advantage of the unobstructed southern views that the site affords. Sitting on ground floor garage plinths, the main living spaces of the houses are elevated to the second and third floors to increase privacy and provide separation from the vehicular traffic on Broadway. In contrast, the two-story houses on Yale Street adopt the more modest scale and massing of the existing homes lining the residential street, their landscaped front yards and generously glazed elevations engaging and activating the sidewalk not unlike the traditional neighbors with their front porches and large living room windows. In an effort to avoid the visual flatness so often dooming contemporary development, the proposed buildings are organized as a series of components shifted against one another, resulting in highly articulated building volumes that animate the street and echo the additive character and finer architectural grain of the surrounding building stock.
The third project is an eight-unit residential development located in Sacramento’s historic Mansion Flats neighborhoods on D Street, marking the threshold between the dense urban fabric of homes on 15th Street and the larger-scale commercial structures on 16th Street. 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 ribbon is 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. The individual colors of the buildings’ recessed entry areas add a playful accent to the development’s carefully restrained architectural syntax, a subtle nod at the cheerful polychrome of the traditional homes lining Madison Flats’ quiet neighborhood streets.