David Baker Architects

La Valentina Station


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Image: Bruce Damonte


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La Valentina Station is featured as a "Downtown Catalyst" in the March 2013 Architectural Record feature "Sheltering the World: New Models for Social Housing."

La Valentina Station Sustainable Features

• Remediated brownfield
• High density (76 units/acre)
• Transit-oriented development 
• Exceeds Title 24 Energy Standards 
• 34.141kW CEC AC solar array 
• Cool roof 
• LED lighting
• EnergyStar appliances 
• Healthy interiors 
• Natural ventilation 
• Open-air “green” stair 
• Recycled-content steel 
• Minimized south-facing glazing 
• Sun shading at retail level 
• Low-flow fixtures 
• Draught-tolerant landscaping
• Permeable paving
• Storm-water management
• GreenPoint Rating in progress 
 

View of the entry plaza at La Valentina Station. Image: Bruce Damonte

A view of the entry from the mid-block courtyard (which doubles as the utility easement). Image: Bruce Damonte

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.

The green stair and lobby at La Valentina is open to the air. Image: Bruce Damonte

The mailboxes are housed in a custom cabinet. Image: Bruce Damonte

Interior of a one-bedroom La Valentina apartment with open kitchen and private deck. Image: Bruce Damonte

Common room interior with "barcode" mural (spelling "La Valentina"). Image: Bruce Damonte

The southwest perspective after incorporating design review comments.

La Valentina Station in context, adjacent to the sister La Valentina North development by YHLA Architects. Image: Bruce Damonte

La Valentina Station from across 12th Street. Image: Bruce Damonte

In conjunction with La Valentina North, an energy-efficient family housing development designed by YHLA Architects, this David Baker Architects project creates a gateway into the downtown area. 

View from 12th Street sketch by Kevin Markarian.

Northwest street level perspective computer rendering.

View from the train platform of the community space with the "La Valentina" barcode mural along on the glass wall. Image: Bruce Damonte

Upper level plan.

The section perspective illustrates the sun-shading strategies of the west facing elevation.

A detail sketch of the cafe and central gap, responding to the utility easement of the former alley.

The ground level facing the Light Rail station will be activated with commercial spaces and a cafe.

Site plan.

Map of the Sacramento RT Light Rail system. La Valentina Station AKA Alkali Flat is on the Blue Line just north of downtown.

Map

 

La Valentina wins a 2013 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its energy efficiency, for spurring the update of Sacramento's antiquated zoning codes, and for revitalizing a derelict area.

The National Award for Smart Growth Achievement recognizes communities that use innovative policies and practices to develop in ways that protect the environment, provide housing and transportation choices, and strengthen their communities.

For more info about the project and the award, watch the video at right or click here. 

 

VIDEO

At right, the development team lays out the history and future of the La Valentina project.

The common room's translucent window mural allows light yet provides privacy from the street. Image: Bruce Damonte

Rainscreen detail. Image: Bruce Damonte

Detail of the stair screen. Image: Bruce Damonte

Rainscreen detail. Image: Bruce Damonte

La Valentina entry plaza in the evening. Image: Bruce Damonte

The entry plaza in the evening. Image: Bruce Damonte

The utility easement in the rear yard doubles as a play area with the addition of seating and a "ladybug" soft-fall surface by Fletcher Studio. Image: Bruce Damonte

The easement in the rear yard doubles as a play area by adding seating and paving it with "ladybug" soft-fall surface by Fletcher Studio. Image: Bruce Damonte

The easement in the rear yard doubles as a play area by adding seating and paving it with "ladybug" soft-fall surface by Fletcher Studio. Image: Bruce Damonte

Southern elevation of La Valentina Station showing the tucked-under parking. Image: Bruce Damonte

Southern elevation of La Valentina Station. Image: Bruce Damonte

Inside the green open-air stair. Image: Bruce Damonte

View from the north across 12th Street at southern part of building. Image: Bruce Damonte

View from the north across 12th Street at southern part of building. Image: Bruce Damonte

View from the north across 12th Street at southern part of building. Image: Bruce Damonte

La Valentina Station in context, adjacent to the sister La Valentina North development by YHLA Architects. Image: Bruce Damonte

View from the Alkali Flat/La Valentina Station train platform. Image: Bruce Damonte

The green stair and lobby at La Valentina is open to the air. Image: Bruce Damonte

View from the train platform. Image: Bruce Damonte

Private balconies overlook 12th street.

The RTA light rail stop is an active place.

The waterjet cut corten fence.

Southwest street level perspective computer rendering.

Photo montage view of rear, east, elevation from E Street.

West elevation rendering.

North elevation rendering.

South elevation rendering.

Aerial sketch by Kevin Markarian.

West elevation sketch by Kevin Markarian.

Ground level and site plan.

Retail and residential section.

Lobby and stair section.

La Valentina Station groundbreaking, December 9, 2010.

Corten steel cut with water jet railing mock up.

The scaffold comes down!

The Sacramento RT Blue Line light rail stops at La Valentina Station.

The main boulder at the stone yard after being selected by David Fletcher, Landscape Architect.

awards

EPA 2013 Smart Growth Achievement Award
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Gold Nugget Honor Award—Best Sustainable Community (with YHLA)
Pacific Coast Builders Conference
SACOG Salutes! Blueprint Excellence Award
Sacramento Area Council of Governments
Best Infill Project of 2011-12
Sacramento Business Journal

publications

La Valentina Station: 2013 EPA Smart Growth Achievement Award
Sheltering the World: New Models for Social Housing
Anecdatal Evidence

project details

Category

2012 in Review, Affordable Housing, All Projects, Apartments, Transit-Oriented Developments

​Location

Sacramento, California

Developer

Domus Development

Architect

David Baker Architects
Peter MacKenzie, AIA

Landscape Architect

Garth Ruffner Landscape Architect

Landscape Consultant

Fletcher Studio

Contractor

Brown Construction

Permalink

www.dbarchitect.com/LaValentinaStation

 

project data
La Valentina 20703
429 12th Street 
Sacramento, California
Completed July 2012
number of units
studio 9
1 bedroom 24
2 bedroom 30
total 63
density ratios
project sf 67,356
site sf 36,124
acres 0.83
total bedrooms 93
bedrooms/acre 112
units/acre 76
parking
total 68
spaces/unit 1:1
type V