David Baker Architects


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This affordable family housing provides a welcoming face for the developing Bridge District. Image: Mariko Reed


Learn more about the art, furnishings, and architectural interiors of the Rivermark here.

This building is the pioneer affordable housing in West Sacramento’s developing 188-acre Bridge District. Situated on a formerly developed disused industrial lot at the heart of future dense development, the Rivermark provides 70 affordable family apartments in close proximity to the riverfront, Raley Field, and downtown Sacramento.
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Large boulders, shifting within a Ginkgo grove, define the front entry court. Image: Mariko Reed

The building's distinctive entry tower glows at night, serving as a beacon for the new neighborhood. Image: Mariko Reed



The building’s distinctive entry tower serves as a beacon for the new neighborhood. Fashioned from perforated Cor-ten steel panels and visible from a distance, the open-air stair tower takes its cue from the historically industrial area. At ground level, the rust-toned stair tower cedes to a boulder-strewn courtyard, recalling the shades and shifting forms of the Sierra Foothills.

Community Spaces


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Image: Mariko Reed

The plantings in the podium courtyard are arranged in rows, referencing the agriculture patterns surrounding the site. Image: Mariko Reed


A second-level podium courtyard serves as the heart of the development. Balconies, decks, and patios surround the courtyard, creating a continuum of private to public space. The central courtyard remains open to the east, a design strategy to protect residential units from the potential adjacent development. This courtyard aperture provides an opportunity for the future neighbor to align or connect with this open space.

Designed by Fletcher Studio, the courtyard's climbing wall draws topographic inspiration from the iconic cover of the Joy Division album Unknown Pleasures, overlaid with a color scheme inspired by Howard Johnson motels. Image: Mariko Reed

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Image: Mariko Reed

Along Bridge Street, ground-level homes open directly onto the sidewalk via stoops, lending an intimate scale to the relatively large building. Image: Mariko Reed

Bridge Street


The 70-unit building is divided aesthetically into two residential "bars" that relate to each other across a central courtyard and are joined by open-air walkways.

Along Bridge Street, the building features five levels of housing, with ground-level residences opening directly onto the sidewalk via balconies and stoops. 

Housing and community uses "wrap" the large parking garage, obscuring it from view and creating an active street edge. The second bar of housing steps down a level toward the smaller alleyway, lined with planted a storm-water swale that ties into the city infiltration system.

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Site plan: Active uses wrap the embedded garage, which is entered from the alley and connects directly to the lobby. Image: David Baker Architects/Fletcher Studio

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Podium plan: A second-level podium courtyard serves as the heart of the development and creates a more private shared open space. Image: David Baker Architects/Fletcher Studio

North elevation. Image: Mariko Reed

West elevation. Image: Mariko Reed

In the entry plaza, boulders sliced on a two-foot grid are arrayed across the hardscape in a shifting pattern that responds the Sierra foothills and the region's tectonic activity. Image: Mariko Reed

The open-air stair encourages residents to skip the elevator. Image: Mariko Reed

The lobby breezeway connects the entry, offices, mailroom, garage entry, activity room, and community room. Image: Mariko Reed

A glassy office suite connects visually to the ground-floor common spaces. Image: Mariko Reed

A private conference room features artwork from Creativity Explored. Image: Mariko Reed

Bringing the outdoors in, the boulders continue into the lobby to serve as seating near the mailboxes. Image: Mariko Reed

Continuing the theme of natural inspiration, The Cloud is a custom sculpture suspended from the ceiling in the central lobby. Image: Mariko Reed

Detail of The Cloud, a custom sculpture by Activist Architecture and DBA Lab. Image: Mariko Reed

Activity room windows allow the space to be separated from noise but connected to the life of the building. Image: Mariko Reed.

Accessed through a large sliding barn door, the community kitchen hosts nutrition and cooking classes and events for residents. Image: Mariko Reed

Inspiration for the finishes and color palette were taken from the building's location near the steely blue Sacramento River. Image: Mariko Reed

The media wall image from Creativity Explored creates a focal point for the TV area and brings liveliness to the spare space. Image: Mariko Reed

Imagination Playground's innovative and durable building blocks can spill outside for creative play. Image: Mariko Reed

The large community room accommodates many simultaneous uses. Image: Mariko Reed

Sheer curtains keep the light but cut the glare from the West Sacramento sun. Image: Mariko Reed

Plantings along Fifth Street shade the community room. Image: Mariko Reed

A glass-and-aluminum NanaWall collapsible door allows the room to open widely to the plaza. Image: Mariko Reed

A public plaza along Fifth Street connects to the building's community room. Image: Mariko Reed

The laundry lounge allows residents to read, work, or step outside while they're washing their clothes. Image: Mariko Reed

Reading in the laundry lounge. Image: Mariko Reed

The laundry lounge's book-share library is growing. Image: Mariko Reed

Image: Mariko Reed

Criss-crossed with café lights, the courtyard features a variety of gathering spaces defined by custom concrete benches and dramatic plantings. Image: Mariko Reed

Courtyard view of the Tower Bridge, which links West Sacramento to the City of Sacramento. Image: Mariko Reed

Image: Mariko Reed

Image: Mariko Reed

Image: Mariko Reed

The concept for the courtyard was to create an "urban tidepool"—a varied concrete wall system for amphitheater seating and unstructured play. Image: Mariko Reed

The center “pool” is ringed by café lighting and topped with wires for climbing vines. Image: Mariko Reed

A stack of open-air bridges connect the two residential bars and encourage walking and socializing. Image: Mariko Reed

Courtyard view of the setting sun through the open-air bridges. Image: Mariko Reed

Open-air circulation as seen from the Fifth Street plaza. Image: Mariko Reed

Private balconies, decks, and patios encircle the courtyard. Image: Mariko Reed

This family housing features 36 two-bedroom and 25 three-bedroom apartments. Image: Mariko Reed

The alley to the south of the building is lined with vegetated bioswales to manage storm water and provides access to the secure garage. Image: Mariko Reed

Image: Mariko Reed

The 61-space embedded garage is painted white to reduce lighting loads. Image: Mariko Reed

The green stair frames a view of Raley Field, home of the San Francisco Giants' Triple-A team, the Sacramento River Cats. Image: Mariko Reed

Image: Mariko Reed

2014.07.19 DBA staff Rivermark field trip—via bikes and train from San Francisco.

Checking out the mock-up BOK Modern balcony at Rivermark: Kevin Wilcock (DBA), Billy Forrest (DBA), Bradley Sugarman (DBA), Robert Stevenson (BRIDGE Housing), Russ Naylor (BOK Modern), and Virginia Alexander (DBA).

Mock-up of the Cor-ten steel screen that sheaths the west-facing green stair and walkway bridges.

2014.03.27 Billy Forrest and David Baker with the rooftop solar DHW storage tank.

The solar DHW collector array with downtown Sacramento in the background.

2014.03.27 Concrete being poured for Fletcher Studio's wonderful courtyard landscape design.

2014.03.27 The elevations are coming together.

2014.06.05 Cor-ten steel balconies with cedar siding take shape.

2014.07.19 The standing-seam west elevation engages the Cor-ten balconies.

2014.07.19 The south elevation features angled sunshades and deep Cor-ten steel balconies.

2014.07.19 The Cor-ten steel screen on the open-air bridges that connect the residential wings.

Raley Field as seen from the upper level of the open-air stair.

2014.07.19 This paint color is called "Carbon Copy".

Aerial view from southwest.

The Bridge Street corner features a distinctive open-air stair tower that entices residents away from the elevator and also serves as a defining icon of the building. Image: David Baker Architects

Bridge Street and the corner entry plaza. Image: David Baker Architects

The main residential entry is through a public open space at the corner. Image: David Baker Architects

Service and parking are accessed off an alley. Image: David Baker Architects

Detail of stoops along Bridge Street. Image: David Baker Architects

West elevation. Image: David Baker Architects

North elevation. Image: David Baker Architects

An east-west section through the building, showing the embedded garage and podium courtyard. Image: David Baker Architects

South elevation. Image: David Baker Architects

Upper-level plan: Two bars of housing flank the central courtyard. Image: David Baker Architects/Fletcher Studio

2013.11.08 The view from the construction crane. Image: Josh Sunseri

2013.12.13 Crane progress: The south side is sheeted, and they are rolling trusses on the north side. Image: Josh Sunseri

Activist Architecture installing The Cloud sculpture in the lobby.

Head in The Cloud: Yes Duffy and Christian Cutul installing their suspended sculpture in the lobby.

project details


Affordable Housing, All Projects, Apartments, BRIDGE Housing


West Sacramento, California


BRIDGE Housing


David Baker Architects

General Contractor

Sunseri Associates

Landscape Architect

Fletcher Studio



project data
The Rivermark 20815  
959 Bridge Street, West Sacramento
Sacramento, California
Completed May 2015
number of units
1 bedroom 9
2 bedroom 36
3 bedroom 25
total 70
density ratios
project sf 147,293
site sf 38,629
acres 0.88
total bedrooms 156
bedrooms/acre 177
units/acre 80
total 61
spaces/unit 0.87
type Garage