David Baker Architects

Station Center


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Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

The brownfield site before construction of Station Center.

 
Enabled by the Proposition 1C TOD voter-approved bond program, Station Center Family Housing is the affordable inclusionary component of the Union City Master Plan.Designed by ROMA Design Group, the Master Plan calls for Union City BART Station to be revamped into an intermodal station—a hub for BART, Dumbarton Rail, ACE, and Capital Corridor.
 
A brownfield site sandwiched between the existing commuter and freight lines and currently cut off from the BART station by tracks is being reclaimed for a vibrant mixed-use district including these high-density affordable family apartments.

Station Center Family Housing comprises 157 affordable rental units in two buildings framing a public playground and overlooking the new plaza and eventual direct connection to the BART station. 

The building is ringed with active edges: The main entry is framed by a towering entry portal, and the face of the building is lined with retail arcade that is soon to house a corner cafe and a market. Along Cheeves Street, additional public and private entryways connect to the sidewalk. At the rear, housing "wraps" the neighborhood-serving garage, shielding it from view.

 

Image: Bruce Damonte

A four story entry portal and double height retail space face 11th Street. Image: Bruce Damonte

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A typical residential floor level. Image: David Baker + Partners

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The site plan with landscape design by Fletcher Studio Landscape Architecture.

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

The building has on-site social and health services with programs for teens and kids.

Community Room

The community room opens onto a fitness center and pool deck, and opens entirely to a grand courtyard, creating a large indoor-outdoor gathering space.

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Courtyard

Designed along with all the building landscaping by Fletcher Studio—features allottment gardens for residents, formal and informal seating areas, and a play yard populated by playful concrete gorillas.

Image: Bruce Damonte

Garage

The multi-level garage forms a buffer to the heavy rail line at the rear of the block.

Image: Bruce Damonte

LEED for Homes Mid-Rise Platinum Certified.

 

 

Station Center Family Housing Green Features

Units

• Large operable window.
• Private decks
• High sound isolation between units
• High-efficiency lighting
• Built-in trash and recycling bins

Resources

• Contractor recycled 88% construction waste
• Over 45% cement replaced by  slag or fly ash, unused manufacturing byproducts
• Wood-framed walls built off site to maximize efficiency and minimize waste.
• Building trash and recycling chutes

Air Quality

• Cabinets contain no added formaldehyde
• Bathroom and kitchen fans exhaust to the exterior 
• Low- or no-VOC paints, coatings, and construction adhesives
• CRI Green Label Plus carpets

Energy

• Added insulation to minimize heating needs.
• Solar hot water panels pre-heat domestic hot water
• A high efficiency gas-powered boiler heats domestic hot water
• Energy Star appliances
• Corridor and garage lighting controlled by motion sensors
• Exterior sunshades reduce heat gain
• Attic insulation is R-30 and wall insulation is R-21 

• Exceeds Title 24 by 20% 

Water

• Bay Friendly Certified landscaping
• Landscape irrigation controller receives weather data via a satellite connection
• All rain is captured and treated onsite in swales and large below-grade storage system
• Low-flow showerheads, faucets and toilets

 

Green

The low-energy building used a range of complementary sustainable strategies—including solar domestic hot water, high-efficiency boilers, and rooftop photo-voltaic arrays—to achieve LEED for Homes Mid-Rise Platinum certification. The Bay-Friendly Rated landscape design will save 193,282 gallons of water per year compared to a conventionally landscaped property.

Alazar, right, shared a welcoming phrase in Ethiopian. Mural: Mona Caron. Image: Nick Kasimatis

Mural

San Francisco artist Mona Caron creating a towering mural on the 5-story entry tower, visible from the neighborhood and neighboring train tracks.

The mural, "Taking Root," was inspired by an intrepid local plant she found pushing through the broken concrete. While the plant reaches to the sky, it is "rooted" at ground level in multi-lingual messages of welcome contributed by new residents.

More information on Mona Caron and her work can be found at www.monacaron.com.

“Everyone here has roots in different parts of the world, and together we grow and blossom as a community.” —Elias, 9. Mural: Mona Caron. Image: Nick Kasimatis

Artist Mona Caron and her in-progress mural at Station Center Family Housing. Image: Nick Kasimatis

Mural inspiration. Mural: Mona Caron. Image: Nick Kasimatis

Image: Mona Caron

Pyramid

This wonderful, dangerous appearing, but safe climbing structure is a temporary use of a building site immediately adjacent.

Image: Bruce Damonte

This man has turned his private deck into a Garden of Eden.

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Diagram of site issues.


PDF Icon2014cnu-awards

 

CNU 2014 Charter Awards (June 5, 2014)
The Congress for the New Urbanism has selected Station Center as Best Building and also bestowed the Grand Prize for overall excellence in its 2014 Charter Awards, which recognize exceptional placemaking. Says juror  Will Bruder, "It is a mastery of proportion and scale, materials and detail."  Download details of the awards and other winners at left. 

 

ULI Global Award of Excellence

Station Center, the pioneer affordable family housing at the heart of the Union City Master Plan, was awarded a 2013 ULI Global Award for Excellence. This year's 12 worldwide winners were selected for their dedication to building enduring communities. Congratulations to MidPen Housing and the entire team for creating such a complex and compelling project! See more about the Urban Land Institute Awards here.

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Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Early tracings as Mona Caron's Station Center mural takes shape. More mural images and info at www.monacaron.com. Image: Nick Kasimatis

Artist Mona Caron's work-in-progress at Station Center. More images and info on the mural at www.monacaron.com. Image: Nick Kasimatis

Community participation. Mural: Mona Caron. Image: Nick Kasimatis

Community participation. Mural: Mona Caron. Image: Nick Kasimatis

Community input: A resident adding a greeting in Pashto. Mural: Mona Caron. Image: Nick Kasimatis

Community input: Punjabi welcome. Mural: Mona Caron. Image: Nick Kasimatis

Mural: Mona Caron. Image: Nick Kasimatis

Station Center community meeting where the residents decided on the welcome messages and crowd-sourced a vision of the future. Image: Nick Kasimatis

The residents' vision of the future surrounding Station Center. Mural: Mona Caron. Image: Nick Kasimatis.

Nightfall. Mural: Mona Caron. Image: Nick Kasimatis.

Aerial view from the southwest drawn by Kevin Markarian. Image: David Baker Architects

Aerial sketch from northwest drawn by Kevin Markarian. Image: David Baker Architects

Garage sketch drawn by Kevin Markarian. Image: David Baker + Partners

The multi-level garage, which provides for residents as well as for future commercial uses, serves as an acoustic buffer to the freight rail line to the north. Image: David Baker + Partners

Sketch view of the corner of 11th and Cheeves Streets by Kevin Markarian. Image: David Baker + Partners

Computer visualization of the corner of 11th and Cheeves Streets. Image: David Baker + Partners

View of entry portal from 11th Street by Kevin Markarian.

View of the entry portal from 11th Street. Image: David Baker + Partners

View of the entry portal as Phase 1 construction winds up. Image: David Baker + Partners

A cafe is planned for the retail space next to the entry portal. Image: David Baker + Partners

A cafe is planned for the retail space next to the entry portal.

Fletcher Studio has found pre-cast concrete gorillas to roam over the soft topography of the children's play area.

Real concrete gorillas face-off across the play yard.

The custom laundry table being fabricated at the Ohio Design workshop in San Francisco.

The Ohio Design custom laundry room table installed. The wood is sustainably harvested American Hickory.

This 14-foot table in the community room was custom fabricated by Ohio Design in San Francisco from steel and sustainably harvested American hickory.

The rooftop solar domestic hot water system provides more than 70% of the residents' hot water. The flatter panels in front are part of the solar photovoltaic array, which generates electricity.

The park in front of the BART Station is under construction as of 2011.12.01.

The neighboring detached houses to the south of Station District Family Housing are considerably less dense.

Sketch section showing the retail facing 11th Street with a residential set-back. Image: David Baker + Partners

Sketch section showing relation of high density residential to the townhouses across Cheeves Street. Image: David Baker + Partners

This project is registered in the LEED for Homes Mid-Rise Pilot Program with a goal of Platinum certification.

Station Center resident Colleen Dutton and her daughter at the building Grand Opening.

Station Center has been officially recognized as a Bay-Friendly Rated Landcape. The project will save 193,282 gallons of water per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 13.89 and 36.01 tons of CO2e over the life of the project (compared to a conventionally landscaped property).

awards

CNU 2014 Charter Award—Best Building
Congress for the New Urbanism
CNU 2014 Charter Award—Grand Prize
Congress for the New Urbanism
ULI Global Award for Excellence
Urban Land Institute

project details

Category

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

​Location

Union City, California

Nonprofit Housing Developer

MidPen Housing

Architect

David Baker Architects

General Contractor

Barry Swenson Builders

Landscape Architect

Fletcher Studio

Structural Engineer

Tipping Mar + Associates

Structural Engineer

FBA Structural Engineers

Lighting Designer

Horton Lees Brogden

Mechanical Engineer

Timmons Design Engineers

Civil Engineer

Mark Thomas & Company

Mural Artist

Mona Caron

Permalink

www.dbarchitect.com/StationCenter

project data
Station Center 20813
Union City, California
Completed April 2012
number of units
1 bedroom 33
2 bedroom 74
3 bedroom 50
total 157
density ratios
project sf 299,944
site sf 94,139
acres 2.16
total bedrooms 328
bedrooms/acre 152
units/acre 72.6
open space sf 33,000
open space sf/unit 210
parking
total 289
resident 204
flex commercial 10
public 75
spaces/unit 1.3
type  garage
bicycle parking 53
certification
LEED for Homes Mid-Rise Platinum