Lakeside Senior Apartments

Oakland CA | Completed 


Winner of the 2019 AIA COTE Top Ten Award, the LEED Platinum Lakeside Senior Apartments adds sustainable affordable homes for seniors just one block from Oakland’s renovated Lake Merritt waterfront.

This dynamic senior community activates the street edge with extensive plantings, an entry plaza with visitor bike racks, and three lobbies. Stoop units connect directly to the surrounding sidewalks.

The mid-size building mass is broken into two volumes that step down toward the lake, creating a transition between the existing high-rises and low-scale residences. Particular care was taken with the massing to protect the light and views for adjacent buildings. Bays and color blocks further divide the building into visually distinct volumes.

The building is centered on a private west-facing courtyard that faces the street and is visible to passersby, balancing security and transparency and connecting the building to the life of the larger neighborhood. The flexible community room opens widely to the courtyard is one of several common spaces that host activities and events. Upper-level bridges span the courtyard, connecting the two residential blocks. Throughout, breakout nooks provide places for seniors to gather outside of their units.

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 preserved for the most people.

The new building stands on the site of the previous parking lot of the adjacent senior housing. The embedded garage now provides ample parking for both developments.

The design underwent early variations as the developer acquired and incorporated small, irregular adjacent sites. The final assembled site offered additional capacity and a regular shape, which streamlined design. The goals were to add comprehensive affordable housing and supportive services, activate sidewalks to increase safety and enjoyment, and create a sense of place. This building brings focus to an area with an existing senior community, good transit, and vital neighborhood resources. 

Lakeside Senior Apartments won an AIA COTE Top Ten Award— the Committee on the Environment’s highest honor—which highlights projects that meet rigorous criteria for social, economic, and ecological value across 10 categories: Integration, Community, Ecology, Water, Economy, Energy, Wellness, Resources, Change, and Discovery.

Project Details

Project Number


1515 East 15th Street
Oakland, CA
United States


Number of Units
1 Bedroom
2 Bedroom

Total 92

Density Ratios
107,892 sf
28,947 sf
Units per Acre

Parking Spots
Parking Type

Type V over Type I
5 Stories

LEED for Homes Multifamily Mid-Rise Platinum


COTE Top Ten Award
AIA Committee on the Environment
Gold Nugget Grand Award—Best Affordable Senior Housing Community
Pacific Coast Builders Conference
Readers Choice Award—Senior Housing
Affordable Housing Finance Magazine
AIA/HUD Secretary’s Award—Excellence in Affordable Housing Design
American Institute of Architects / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
AIA East Bay Design Awards—Honor Award
AIA East Bay


Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA)
David Baker Architects
Landscape Architect
PGA Design
Lighting Designer
Horton Lees Brogden
Roberts-Obayashi Corporation


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