David Baker Architects

West End Commons

Slideshow | Details

West End Commons in context, with the Bay Bridge and San Francisco in the background. Image: Steve Proehl.

Covent Lane entrance. Image: Cesar Rubio.

The 91 townhouses that make up West End Commons are arranged in a woven pattern reminiscent of the teeth of a zipper. An array of four "slow alleys", which calm traffic with pavers and are lush with trees, vines, and grasses, bring traffic gently in and out of the development. Buildings set a skewed angles allow residents to look out on greenery rather than at neighboring walls. Running through the site, a meandering park creates eddies along the pathway, giving people opportunities to pause or gather on the way to communal amenities. Throughout, the work-live townhomes combine the light, functional space of a loft with private bedrooms, kitchens, and roomy baths, creating eminently usable space and blurring the boundaries between traditional concepts of "living" and "working".

Moss courtyard, one of the rooms along the greenway. Image: Cesar Rubio.

A view of a narrow slow alley. Image: Cesar Rubio.

A bedroom with a private balcony.

Site plan.

Live work interior.

The sidewalk facing Mandela Parkway has been landscaped with drought-tolerant species to soften this edge.

Mandela Parkway elevation. Image: Cesar Rubio.

A view of Mandela Parkway's center median with multi-use path and extensive landscaping.


Gold Nugget Award of Merit—Best Live-Work Project
Pacific Coast Builders Conference

project details


All Projects, Market-Rate, Townhouses


Oakland, California


Pocket Development


David Baker Architects

Interior Design

Your Space Interiors

Landscape Architect

CMG Landscape Architects

Structural Engineer

Tipping Mar + Associates


L + D Construction

Design-Build Contractor



Cesar Rubio



project data
West End Commons
Oakland, California
Completed 2005
number of units
1 bedroom 28
1 bedroom + separate entry workroom 18
2 bedroom 25
3 bedroom 20
total 91
density ratios
project sf 103,742
acres 2.4
total bedrooms 156
bedrooms/acre 60
units/acre 35
total 93
spaces/unit 1.02
type surface + 18 individual garages