David Baker Architects

Lakeside Senior Apartments

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View from the corner of 2nd Avenue and East 15th Street. Image: Bruce Damonte

Join us on Monday, May 16, 11am, for a free anniversary tour of Lakeside Senior Apartments, part of EBHO Affordable Housing Week.

Register here.

On the site of the previous parking lot of the adjacent senior housing, this project brings 92 new affordable units to Oakland plus—in an embedded garage—ample parking for both developments.

The new building provides homes for seniors and formerly homeless seniors just one block from the renovated Lake Merritt waterfront, as well as within walking range of parks, playgrounds, restaurants, and shops.


The signature DBA K door. Image: David Baker Architects

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The community room opens onto the sunny courtyard. Image: Bruce Damonte



The west-facing main courtyard opens toward the street and is warmed by afternoon sun. The private courtyard is visible to passersby, creating a balance between security and transparency and connecting the building to the life of the larger neighborhood. 

Courtyard looking towards the west. Image: Bruce Damonte

The courtyard view from the community room. Image: Bruce Damonte

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Rooftop community room. Image: Bruce Damonte



The building is topped by a fifth-floor suite of community spaces, including garden plots for residents, a community room and kitchen, outdoor decks, and a wellness studio—all with spectacular lake and city views. 

City Slicker Farms volunteers work with residents to keep the rooftop garden thriving. Image: City Slicker Farms

The top floor towards Lake Merritt was set back in response to neighbors' concerns. Image: Bruce Damonte



Ground level units have stoops to engage the public realm.

Stoops and balconies connect to the sidewalk. Image: Bruce Damonte

Sketch study of the stoops along Second Avenue.

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Fifth-floor plan featuring rooftop community spaces. Image: David Baker Architects

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Site plan. Image: David Baker Architects



The mid-size building mass is broken into two volumes that step down, creating a transition between the existing high-rises and low-scale residences. Particular care was taken with the profile of the building to protect the light and views enjoyed by the adjacent buildings. Additionally, bays and color blocks further break the mass into accessible volumes. At the upper level, a bridge spans the courtyard, connecting the two residential blocks.

The new building activates the street edge with three separate lobbies as well as stoop units that connect directly to the surrounding sidewalks. 

Throughout the building, breakout nooks provide places for seniors to gather outside of their units. Small pockets with lake and city views afford a chance for rest, visiting, or passively engaging with the greater life of the building.



There's a story behind every resident at Lakeside.

Mr. Ting. Image: Bruce Damonte

Tai Chi class in the courtyard. Image: David Baker Architects

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Our crowd-funding campaign raised more than $10,000 for purchasing and installing art in the building. Thanks to all generous donors!

Watch the video to meet some of the residents and learn more about Creativity Explored and the Lakeside art program. 

2nd Street elevation. Image: Bruce Damonte

Entry. Image: Bruce Damonte

The tokonoma wall displays art by residents.

Image: Bruce Damonte

Community room. Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Rooftop garden and community room with lake views. Image: Bruce Damonte

Robust rooftop garden and lake view.

Blending in: The view from the lake. Image: Bruce Damonte

Lakeside Senior along Oakland's Lake Merritt. Image: Brian Haux/Skyhawk Photography

Corner of Second Avenue and East 15th Street. Image: DBA

East 15th Street, looking east.

Rendered courtyard view from East 15th Street.

Neighborhood context: View from Merritt Bakery.

Aerial view with Lake Merritt.

Entry sketch.

Courtyard sketch.

Sketch study: How the courtyard meets the sidewalk.

Stoops enliven the pedestrian edge along the Second Avenue frontage.

Lakeside Senior Housing under construction on the east edge of Lake Merritt. Image: Brian Haux

Lakeside Senior Housing, at bottom, under construction next to Rose of Sharon Senior Homes on Lake Merritt's eastern edge. Image: Brian Haux

WABI SABI: The vertical board-form texture on the concrete base walls.

A group shot on the roof deck. From left: Billy Forrest AIA, Cindy Heavens (SAHA), Devon Moeller (SAHA), Daniel Simons AIA, David Baker FAIA, and Nadia Akel (Roberts Ohbayashi Construction).

2014.04.09 view from down 2nd Avenue towards 16th Street.

The view of Lake Merritt from the roof deck is spectacular.

2014.04.09 The view from the roof deck garden of Lake Merritt and downtown Oakland.

2014.04.09 The west facing courtyard will capture afternoon sun. The windows in the "bridge" open from an informal social space.

2014.04.09 the corner of 2nd Avenue and East 15th Street takes shape.

2014.09.24 Hardy trim random siding detail.


AIA East Bay Design Awards—Honor Award
AIA East Bay


Bring Beauty: Art for Seniors

project details


Affordable Housing, All Projects, Apartments, Senior Housing


Oakland, California


Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA)

Landscape Architect

PGA Design

Lighting Designer

Horton Lees Brogden


Roberts-Obayashi Corporation



project data
Lakeside Senior Housing 20911
115 East 15th Street
Oakland, California
Completed December 2014
number of units
1 bedroom 91
2 bedroom (manager) 1
total 92
density ratios
project sf 107,892
site sf 28,947
acres 0.66
total bedrooms 93
bedrooms/acre 138
units/acre 138
total 59
spaces/unit .25
type garage
LEED for Homes Registered  Goal: Gold