David Baker Architects

Art Ark

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Context view of Art Ark from 6th Street. Image: David Baker Architects

The Art Ark in San Jose is made up of 148 affordable rental artist units in two distinct neighborhoods: the Factory and the Cottages. A performance plaza joins these two districts.

Aerial view with neighborhood context. Image: Bernard Andre.

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Residents display their art work in the common house gallery. Image: Bernard Andre.

Art Ark Gallery


The gallery space provides a resource for both the residents and the district. It hosts an active program of shows and events

Art at the Art Ark.

Common house with courtyard. Image: Bernard Andre.

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2015 street elevation view across Keyes. Image: David Baker Architects

The Factory


The Factory building is designed to reflect the warehouse context adjacent to the site. The ground level studio units open onto 3 small art courts which provide open space for artists to display their work.

The loft units in the factory are organized around three courtyards. Image: Bernard Andre.



The Cottages building references the single family bungalows located on South Sixth Street. Gabled roof forms, private balconies, and porches linked to walk-up stoops, mimic the homes across the street from the development.

The "cottages" are accessed from open air circulation around a courtyard.

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Site plan. Image: David Baker Architects

Aerial view. Image: Bernard Andre.

Aerial view facing South 5th Street. Image: Bernard Andre.

Factory elevation at corner of South 5th Street + Keyes Blvd. Image: Bernard Andre.

2015 the Studio building from the rear green.

The walls of the factory building are broken up with color murals.

Gathering space in common house. Image: Bernard Andre.

Interior of Art Ark Gallery in 2015.

The "cottage" courtyard has common areas + sheltered walkways.

Cottage view. Image: Bernard Andre.

The grand opening featured an Aztec dance performance.

Shaolin monks perform at opening celebration in 2007.

A Shaolin monk flying high at the grand opening.

A Shaolin monk demonstrates martial art at the grand opening.

DB checks out a resident's artwork at the grand opening.

Resident artist Pernilla Anderson at grand opening.

A resident's painting at a show in the Art Ark Gallery. Image: David Baker Architects

Art in the Art Ark Gallery. Image: David Baker Architects

Art at the Art Ark.

South west aerial perspective rendering. Image: David Baker Architects

Rendering of factory with art cafe facing Keyes Blvd. Image: David Baker Architects

project details


Affordable Housing, All Projects, Apartments, Artist Communities


San Jose, California


The CORE Companies


David Baker Architects

Landscape Architect

Gregory Lewis

Structural Engineer

Hoogerwerf Engineering

Electrical Engineer

MDE Electric Co.

Mechanical Engineer

WKW Mechanical Contractors

Civil Engineer

Giuliani + Kull



project data
Art Ark
1058 S. 5th Street + 1035-55 S. 6th Street  
San Jose, California
Completed January 2007
number of units
studio 133
2 bedroom 15
total 148
density ratios
project sf 171,779
site sf 94,046
acres 2.2
total bedrooms 163
bedrooms/acre 75
units/acre 67
total 173
spaces/unit 1.17
type  independent concrete