David Baker Architects

Ironhorse at Central Station

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Ironhorse at Central Station was awarded a Green Point Rating from Build It Green. With 146 points, it has almost triple the number of points needed to qualify.

Resident Jasmine Hudson and son at the Ironhorse Grand Opening. Image: Julio Cesar Martinez

This GreenPoint Rated affordable family housing developed by BRIDGE Housing is part of the emerging Central Station district anchored by Oakland's historic original train station.

This four-story “green” building curves around a podium-level courtyard with a freestanding community pavilion. East and west sides take on different aspects to answer diverse surrounding conditions: new townhouses on one end and a highway on the other. Residents enter through an open-air lobby with a breezeway view of the interior landscaping and branch off to a mix of affordable units punctuated by glassed-in winter gardens. 

Just adjacent to Ironhorse, 14th Street has been fully reconstructed to include a traffic-calming pocket park and pedestrian amenities.

Available to households earning 50% area median income, Ironhorse offers families private decks, an elegant community room, classroom space, laundry facilities, secure on-site parking, and landscaped garden area and courtyard. 




Balcony rail detail view.

This project earned more than twice the required points to receive a GreenPoint Rating.

• Vegetated “green roofs” that last longer than standard roofs and provide insulation from heat and sound.

• Solar-domestic hot water.

• Photo-voltaic arrays that supply all electricity for common areas.

• Certified CRI Green Label Plus carpets. 

• Outdoor furniture made of recycled-material composite lumber.

• Landscape irrigation control that receives weather data via a satellite connection

• High-efficiency drip-irrigation system.

• Two vegetated swales, which naturally filter and percolate rainwater captured from the roofs into the water table.

The pedestrian mews passes between Ironhorse at Central Station and the neighboring Pacific Cannery Lofts, another DBA project. Image: Brian Rose

The east elevation has decks and stoops facing a private street.

Ironhorse stands at the center of development that is reintegrating some 29 acres of abandoned former industrial land into the surrounding residential neighborhood.

The project forms part of Central Station, a new master-planned undertaking by several developers including BUILD, a BRIDGE affiliate. A total of more than 1,200 new homes will be constructed, along with new neighborhood-serving retail and the anticipated restoration of Oakland's historic 16th Street Station.

For information regarding the entire Central Station development, please visit welcomeaboard.com.

For information regarding vacancies at this property, please call Ironhorse at Central Station’s management office at 510-839-5555.

Ironhorse at Central Station was designed in conjunction with Pacific Cannery Lofts, an adjacent market-rate development of lofts and apartments in a converted canning factory. Together the projects begin to repair the street grid and bring new development and residents to the Central Station area.

Image: Brian Rose

The pedestrian mews running along the south of the building with the rear entry stair.

The allotment vegetable gardens along the pedestrian mews.

The pedestrian mews at night.

Evening view of the west elevation.

Podium level plan.

The green roof over the garage with a curved bench detail.

The main courtyard from the back.

Landscape sketch by David Baker.

Green Roof

The living roof takes root.

View the output of the 153 KW solar PV system here:


The flatter panels are solar electric photovoltaic collectors, while the larger panels that are installed at a steeper angle heat the hot water for domestic use in the building.

Renewable Energy Production

This 153 KW solar PV is located on the roof of Ironhorse at Central Station.

Google aerial 2010

David Baker + Partners Architects

The Grand Opening on March 10, 2010. The group photo in the tot-lot area.

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Image: Steve Proehl

Ironhorse Affordable Apartments beyond the defunct Central Station. Image: Brian Rose

Ironhorse at Central Station residential entryway and bike parking. Image: Brian Rose

The office "pod" overlooks the entryway. Image: Brian Rose

14th Street elevation. Image: Brian Rose

View from new pocket park. Image: Brian Rose

Zephyr Gate Drive elevation. Image: Brian Rose

View from adjacent family housing development. Image: Brian Rose

Private balconies along Zephyr Gate Drive. Image: Brian Rose

Zephyr Gate Drive elevation viewed from adjacent family housing development. Image: Brian Rose

On-site allotment gardens give residents to grow food and get their hands dirty. Image: Brian Rose

Balconies and breezeways overlook the communal courtyard. Image: Brian Rose

Image: Brian Rose

Kids at play. Image: Brian Rose

Image: Brian Rose

Picnic patio. Image: Brian Rose

North elevation by day. Image: Brian Rose

North elevation at dusk. Image: Brian Rose

View of Ironhorse Apartments from the ruins of the Key System platform at Central Station. Image: David Baker Architects

The entry court facing 14th Street with "Green Stair" and office pod.

A closer view of the entry court and stair in January, 2010.

The north elevation facing 14th Street viewed from the east.

View of the north elevation from the new park space that converts part of 14th street to public open space.

Detailed view of one of the random green bays over a street level entry patio along 14th Street.

Detail view of entry patio on east elevation. An Code AMI was needed to allow living units underneath the concrete podium.

The east elevation has decks and stoops facing a private street.

An evening photograph of the west elevation of Ironhorse with the Pacific Cannery Lofts in the background.

This pedestrian mews separates Ironhorse from Pacific Cannery Lofts. The metal planters are for vegetable allotment gardens for the residents.

The vegetated swales treat and infiltrate all of the roof runoff at Ironhorse.

The rear stair leads to the pedestrian mews and allotment gardens.

This view from the circulation bridge shows the main courtyard with the freshly planted green roof on the common house.

View of the courtyard and through the gap that aligns with "The Grove" of Pacific cannery Lofts.

Image: Steve Proehl

Image: Steve Proehl

The corridors have windows at the ends for views and daylight. The lighting has different colored sleeves to add interest.

Google aerial showing half mile radius to BART West Oakland Station.

The team from J. H. Fitzmaurice Contractors, the go to project manager at BRIDGE, Ben Metcalf, and Db+P partner Kevin Wilcock AIA.

The site graded and ready to start construction as of February 29, 2008.

Construction begins.

Green roof plantings immediately after installation. The roof slows the storm water's way to the sewer as well as filtering it.

Ground floor plan.

Entry court.

Private drive.

Zephyr gate + private drive.

View from south east corner.

North-south section.

Shadow study.

North courtyard elevation.

The southern courtyard elevation.

Aerial view of the courtyard.

Vegetated swales are used to manage stormwater runoff.

Green roof diagram.

2009 Judges GreenPoint Showcase Honor Award for Multi-Family Housing

This project was awarded a Green Point Rating from Build It Green. With 146 points, it has almost triple the number of points needed to qualify.

David Baker and Cynthia Parker, the incoming head of BRIDGE Housing.

David with Rick Holliday, developer of the adjacent Pacific Cannery Lofts.

Taking a rest from spinning in the courtyard at Ironhorse.


Grand Award—Green Building
Multi Family Executive Magazine
Gold Nugget Award of Merit—Best Green Point Rated Community of the Year
Pacific Coast Builders Conference
Best Affordable Residential Outside of San Francisco
San Francisco Business Times
Judges GreenPoint Showcase Honor Award for Multi-Family Housing
Build It Green


In Oakland, Solar and Affordable Housing Part of the Same Deal

project details


Affordable Housing, All Projects, Apartments, BRIDGE Housing


Oakland, California


BRIDGE Housing


David Baker Architects

Landscape Architect

PGA Design

Structural Engineer

Murphy Burr Curry

Electrical Engineer

FW Associates

Lighting Designer

Horton Lees Brogden

Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer

SJ Engineers

Solar Contractor

Sun Light & Power


J.H. Fitzmaurice, Inc

Civil Engineer




project data
1801 14th Street
Oakland, California
Completed March 2010
number of units
1 bedroom 28
2 bedroom 30
3 bedroom 41
total 99
density ratios
project sf 153,395
site sf 67,953
acres 1.56
total bedrooms 211
bedrooms/acre 135
units/acre 63
total 109
spaces/unit 1.1
type garage
GreenPoint Rated