It Takes A Village

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August 27, 2010

Civic leaders in Oakland, California, have been battling hard for decades to make the city as socially and economically healthy as possible. One of their recent endeavors is Tassafaronga Village, Northern California's first LEED Gold certified neighborhood development, which goes to show that in terms of green architecture, there is a "there" in Oakland.

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  Tassafaronga Village is anchored by a large public plaza and many of the townhouses open to pocket parks and semi-private spaces that help facilitate community gatherings. At the end of this pedestrian path is a jungle gym for children in the neighborhood.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    Tassafaronga Village is anchored by a large public plaza and many of the townhouses open to pocket parks and semi-private spaces that help facilitate community gatherings. At the end of this pedestrian path is a jungle gym for children in the neighborhood.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  The landscape design of Tassafaronga Village is very bike and pedestrian friendly. Networks of paths link the residences together and bike racks are stationed throughout the village.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    The landscape design of Tassafaronga Village is very bike and pedestrian friendly. Networks of paths link the residences together and bike racks are stationed throughout the village.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  Rainwater is funneled from rooftops into flower beds filled with drought-tolerant plants. The planter boxes are constructed from Corten steel, the same material Richard Serra used in his sculptures. These planters are scattered throughout the site and the rust-red patina on each of them will develop differently over time.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    Rainwater is funneled from rooftops into flower beds filled with drought-tolerant plants. The planter boxes are constructed from Corten steel, the same material Richard Serra used in his sculptures. These planters are scattered throughout the site and the rust-red patina on each of them will develop differently over time.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  "Virtually all rainwater that falls on the site is treated in some capacity," says Project Architect Daniel Simons. The large site allowed Db+P to implement many sustainable landscaping features that aren't typically possible due to the space constraints found in most redevelopment projects. Instead of flowing directly into storm drains, water is channeled through swales and infiltration ditches, which helps reduce stormwater pollution.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    "Virtually all rainwater that falls on the site is treated in some capacity," says Project Architect Daniel Simons. The large site allowed Db+P to implement many sustainable landscaping features that aren't typically possible due to the space constraints found in most redevelopment projects. Instead of flowing directly into storm drains, water is channeled through swales and infiltration ditches, which helps reduce stormwater pollution.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  Bright colors, contemporary detailing, and plays on mass and void are seen throughout the development. The high-density apartment building on the southeastern corner of the site reflects some of the unique architectural features of the project. The US Green Building Council awarded the apartment building a LEED for Homes Platinum rating.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    Bright colors, contemporary detailing, and plays on mass and void are seen throughout the development. The high-density apartment building on the southeastern corner of the site reflects some of the unique architectural features of the project. The US Green Building Council awarded the apartment building a LEED for Homes Platinum rating.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  Capped by an acoustic ceiling, the lobby within the apartment building is one of Project Architect Daniel Simons' favorite spaces in the entire development.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    Capped by an acoustic ceiling, the lobby within the apartment building is one of Project Architect Daniel Simons' favorite spaces in the entire development.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  The large rooftop courtyard is filled with lush greenery, a jungle gym, picnic tables and benches.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    The large rooftop courtyard is filled with lush greenery, a jungle gym, picnic tables and benches.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  An overhead view of the rooftops shows the many solar panels in the development. Far in the distance is the Sunshine Biscuits factory and in the foreground is the green roof atop the apartment building.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    An overhead view of the rooftops shows the many solar panels in the development. Far in the distance is the Sunshine Biscuits factory and in the foreground is the green roof atop the apartment building.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  In addition to the rooftop garden, a traditional green roof caps the apartment building.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    In addition to the rooftop garden, a traditional green roof caps the apartment building.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  Natural light illuminates the halls and corridors within the apartment building, casting a warm glow inside.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    Natural light illuminates the halls and corridors within the apartment building, casting a warm glow inside.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  Tassafaronga's housing stock is made up of medium-density townhouses and high-density apartments for a total of 179 units.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    Tassafaronga's housing stock is made up of medium-density townhouses and high-density apartments for a total of 179 units.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  Budget materials, like the Hardie Board siding seen here, helped keep construction costs down and adds visual interest to the exteriors of the townhouses.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    Budget materials, like the Hardie Board siding seen here, helped keep construction costs down and adds visual interest to the exteriors of the townhouses.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  The old Marlino & Sons pasta factory now contains supportive housing and a community outreach center.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    The old Marlino & Sons pasta factory now contains supportive housing and a community outreach center.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  The awning over the old pasta factory's entrance shades the east facade from the sun's rays.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    The awning over the old pasta factory's entrance shades the east facade from the sun's rays.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  Adaptive reuse projects are Db+P's specialty. The pasta factory's original industrial architectural elements are highlighted by lime-green paint, alluding to the past life of the building and natural light from clerestory windows floods the wide, double-height corridors.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    Adaptive reuse projects are Db+P's specialty. The pasta factory's original industrial architectural elements are highlighted by lime-green paint, alluding to the past life of the building and natural light from clerestory windows floods the wide, double-height corridors.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  The development is bordered by industrial zones with merely a street as a buffer. Shipping containers to the south of the site serve as a reminder of Tassafaronga's context. Bridget Galka, who is the senior development director for the Oakland Housing Authority, says that the position of the development on the cusp of residential/industrial zones allowed for more potential to develop the area.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    The development is bordered by industrial zones with merely a street as a buffer. Shipping containers to the south of the site serve as a reminder of Tassafaronga's context. Bridget Galka, who is the senior development director for the Oakland Housing Authority, says that the position of the development on the cusp of residential/industrial zones allowed for more potential to develop the area.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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  Directly north of the project site is low-density, single-family housing. David Baker says a goal of Tassafaronga is that in 10 years people won't know where the development ends and the neighborhood begins.  Photo by: Diana Budds

    Directly north of the project site is low-density, single-family housing. David Baker says a goal of Tassafaronga is that in 10 years people won't know where the development ends and the neighborhood begins.

    Photo by: Diana Budds

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