David Baker Architects

Union Flats


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Image: Bruce Damonte

One of the largest completed modular housing developments in Northern California, The Union Flats adds 243 modern, practical rental homes to the housing stock of Union City.

Part of the Union City Master Plan, the transit-oriented community faces the new Union Center Plaza and current Union City BART station, and is poised to connect to the upcoming Intermodal Station (featuring BART, Capital Corridor, ACE, and Dumbarton Rail).

 

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Main entry into the courtyard. Image: Bruce Damonte

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View of the amenity courtyard from above. Image: Bruce Damonte

AMENITY COURTYARD

Inside, homes encircle a large central courtyard filled with amenities for renters: a large swimming pool and freestanding green-roofed pavilions with spaces for leasing, co-working, fitness, events, and a dog spa.

The pool is shielded from view by the pavilions, yet there is a broad visual connection through portals from the street into the courtyard, revealing flashes of green and something of the inner life of the building.

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The amenity courtyard. Image Bruce Damonte

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View from the Paseo. Image: Bruce Damonte

PASEO

The Union Flats activates a beautifully landscaped promenade that runs to the north of Station Center Family Housing, award-winning affordable housing completed by DBA in 2012 that was the pioneer development in the area. Ground-level homes on the north and south sides of the building connect directly to the sidewalk via private residential stoops.

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Elevation facing the Paseo.Image: Bruce Damonte

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Image: Bruce Damonte

FLEX LOFTS

 

 

The community includes 40 live-work lofts—a new housing type for Union City. There are dynamic flex lofts lining 11th Street, which open directly out to the neighborhood. A more private row of flex lofts open to the interior entral courtyard.
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Street-level flex lofts. Image: Bruce Damonte

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2016.05.25 Day 5 of mod placement. Image: OxBlue

MODULAR CONSTRUCTION

The Union Flats features a range of prefabricated construction: modular set on a foundation; modular atop a Type I podium; and modular wrapping the Type I concrete garage.

Guerdon Enterprises fabricated 388 “mods” in Boise, Idaho, while foundations were being poured in California. After traveling from the factory to Union City, the mods were set using a giant crane at a rate of about 12 a day. 

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2016.03.24 "Mods" waiting at Guerdon Modular in Boise, Idaho. Image: David Baker Architects

Nested modules. Image: David Baker Architects

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

PLANS

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Site plan. Image: David Baker Architects

The building maintains an active edge on three sides. At the rear of the site, an embedded garage with 244 parking slots provides 1:1 parking and buffers the development from the sound of the adjacent rail tracks.

The massing is self shading, in response to its solar orientation. That is, at the southwest façade, balconies are recessed. At the northwest and southeast, bays are articulated to provide shade from the sun while opening up towards light and views of the nearby hills.

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Upper-level plan. Image: David Baker Architects

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Image: David Baker Architects

TRANSIT-ORIENTED

The Union Flats is part of a Union City transit-oriented development (TOD) that also includes the affordable, supportive Station Center Family Housing to the south and the upcoming Windflower Properties modular development to the north.

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Digital view of The Union Flats, flanked by Station Center Family Housing to the south and the upcoming Windflower 2 to the north. Image: David Baker Architects

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Main entry into the courtyard. Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Weathering steel and glass fence. Image: David Baker Architects

Glass and weathering steel fence. Image: David Baker Architects

View of the amenity courtyard from above. Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

The amenity courtyard. Image Bruce Damonte

Courtyard picnic patio. Image: Greystar

The community pavilion. Image:Bruce Damonte

The community pavilion includes custom tables by DBA_Workshop. Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

11th Street flex lofts and retail. Image: David Baker Architects

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Street-level flex lofts. Image: Bruce Damonte

Ground-level loft interior. Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

View from the Paseo. Image: Bruce Damonte

Elevation facing the Paseo.Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Flex loft. Image: Greystar

Flex loft. Image: Greystar

Flex loft mezzanine. Image: Greystar

Flex lofts. Image: David Baker Architects

Image: Bruce Damonte

Modular unit. Image: Greystar

Image: Bruce Damonte

Image: Bruce Damonte

Upper-level plan. Image: David Baker Architects

Site plan. Image: David Baker Architects

Site plan. Image: David Baker Architects/Google Earth

Image: David Baker Architects

Sustainability Diagram. Image: David Baker Architects

Aerial view looking from southwest. Image: David Baker Architects

Aerial view looking from northwest. Image: David Baker Architects

Section through 11th Street. Image: David Baker Architects

Section through the pedestrian promenade, with no setback. Image: David Baker Architects

Section through the pedestrian promenade, with a 10-foot setback to improve sightlines from the BART Station. Image: David Baker Architects

Digital aerial viewl. Image: David Baker Architects

Digital view of The Union Flats, flanked by Station Center Family Housing to the south and the upcoming Windflower 2 to the north. Image: David Baker Architects

View from BART. Image: David Baker Architects

View to the south along 11th Street. Image: David Baker Architects

View to the north along 11th Street. Image: David Baker Architects

Promenade entry. Image: David Baker Architects

Retail. Image: David Baker Architects

Digital rendering of stoops. Image: David Baker Architects

Courtyard aerial view looking back toward entry. Image: David Baker Architects

Image: David Baker Architects

View of the courtyard amenity "pods" from the entry. Image: David Baker Architects

View of the courtyard pool and amenity "pods". Image: David Baker Architects

Nested modules. Image: David Baker Architects

Module. Image: David Baker Architects

East elevation. Image: David Baker Architects

West elevation. Image: David Baker Architects

North elevation. Image: David Baker Architects

South elevation. Image: David Baker Architects

2016.03.24 "Mods" waiting at Guerdon Modular in Boise, Idaho. Image: David Baker Architects

Guerdon Modular. Image: David Baker Architects

Interior of a mod ready to be shipped showing the completed kitchen. Appliances—even the washer-dryer—are pre-installed. Image: David Baker Architects

Fully assembled kitchen in a ready-for-shipping mod. Image: David Baker Architects

Image: OxBlue

2016.05.25 Day 5 of mod placement. Image: OxBlue

2016.05.18 The first mod is "picked". Image: David Baker Architects

The development achieved LEED for Homes Mid-Rise Platinum Certification.

publications

Modular Construction and Sustainability's Triple Bottom Line
In the SF Bay Area, David Baker Architects Bucks the Trend of Dull Modular Housing

project details

Category

All Projects, Apartments, Current Work, LEED, Market-Rate, Modular, Transit-Oriented Developments

​Location

Union City, California

Lead Developer

CityView

Co-Developer

Windflower Properties

Architect

David Baker Architects

Landscape Architect

April Philips Design Works

Permalink

www.dbarchitect.com/UnionFlats

project data
The Union Flats 21302
Union City, California
Completed August 2018
number of units
junior 1 bedroom 70
1 bedroom 125
2 bedroom 20
live-work loft 28
total 243
density ratios
project sf 289,987
site sf 107,522
acres 2.46
total bedrooms 263
bedrooms/acre 107
units/acre 99
open space sf +/-20,000
open space sf/unit +/-82
parking
total (auto) 244
resident 244
spaces/unit  1
type garage
motorcycle parking 15
bicycle parking 184
construction type
Type V-A, Type V-A over Type I-A, Type I-A (garage)  
certification
LEED for Homes Multifamily Mid-Rise Platinum