For more than two decades, a high-crime light-rail station stopping at a toxic empty lot; now, a sustainable affordable family housing development and new gateway to downtown. La Valentina Station brings 63-units of affordable rental housing for families to a previously desolate city site.
The development bolsters the local sewer, electrical and storm-water infrastructure and brings compact, transit-oriented homes to the neglected area. Facing the Alkali Flat/La Valentina light-rail platform, the building takes a strong stand along the rail line, balancing security and porosity by putting eyes on the street with private balconies, an outdoor lobby and stair tower, and open-air bridges that create transparency at all levels and on all sides of the site.
A long span of glass, masked with a “bar-code” mural spelling "La Valentina", illuminates the sidewalk at night with a mellow glow while ensuring privacy for the community room inside. In response to neighborhood concerns, the high-density housing tops new service and retail spaces, one set to house a café at the entry courtyard.