Co-living is Starcity’s answer to the Silicon Valley’s intense housing shortage and astronomical rents: one-bedroom, one bath suites and gorgeous shared communal living space for a price normal people can afford. But for 199 Bassett, the brick team was challenged with rethinking the housing recipe without starting from scratch.
Starcity acquired 199 Bassett—already designed and entitled for traditional market rate 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units—with the intention of building out the 18-storey project to accommodate approximately 800 co-living units alongside shared gourmet kitchens, dining areas, lounge spaces and laundry on each floor.
This project was an opportunity to (massively) scale up Starcity’s already successful “affordable by design” co-living model. The project’s entitled design wasn’t ideal for the Starcity model, which typically work with a narrow floor plate and double-loaded corridors to house about 18 residents per floor. Changing the building’s layout to accommodate smaller units within the existing footprint left land-locked space in the building’s interior, away from natural light. So Starcity asked brick to reimagine the 401,000 square foot project and design shared spaces that would make the most of the building’s deep interior and create a homey, welcoming, and engaging environment for up to 50 residents on each floor.
before: the originally entitled project was designed to accommodate a typical market rate 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartment building layout.
To add to the challenge, the entitled building’s 18 floors had shallow floor to floor heights—just eight feet tall. So brick did the unthinkable: brick removed rentable area! While it may seem counterintuitive, this “addition by subtraction” scheme added tremendous value by creating a double-height communal space with sweeping views. The scheme connects every two residential floors with a communicating stair. Not only did this solution bring light into the deep central space, it also created a generous outdoor balcony on every other floor. Creating the right shared spaces within the central floor plan was also key. Programmed areas that didn’t require natural light, such as gaming rooms, spaces for movies/sporting events and yoga studios were tucked into the center, while communal kitchens, dining areas and grand living rooms opened out toward the double height glass curtain wall.
Another strategy was to design spaces at different scales across the entire floorplate. Instead of four identical kitchens on each floor, brick designed kitchens for different uses based on adjacent programs: a large central kitchen that could accommodate big events, “weeknight” kitchens that are great for family dinners, and a more utilitarian kitchen that worked for the media programs.
awesome private rooms, smart shared space. 199 Bassett is co-living scaled up. way up.
To create a sense of welcome and community, 199 Bassett’s downstairs lobby required special attention. Bookended by future café and bar tenant spaces, the central lobby has open seating along the glass line, similar to a hip hotel. A large feature wall reinforces circulation and makes it easy for people to find their way. Starcity’s bike share program “Starfleet” faces the street to create visual interest. The updated lobby design builds in flexibility so Starcity can try out a variety of programs and pop-up vendors to find out what fits their residents’ interests.
A full-service gym is also located on the first floor, along with a mail room and a storage area for 180 bicycles.
Designed in coordination with the Lane Partners, a developer with impressive experience in large-scale tech projects, 2016 Telegraph will provide a cozy home base for those who want to live, work, play, and thrive in the heart of Uptown Oakland.
With comfort inside and easy access to the arts, transit, gourmet food, shopping and more; brick’s new mixed-use tower has in mind the city-dweller who looks to maintain a healthy work-life balance within close urban boundaries. With this model of localized, bicycle-commuting residents in mind, brick forewent the standard parking garage, choosing instead to utilize that extra space in more creative ways to provide further amenities.
The developers looked to achieve a high-density area of housing in order to comfortably accommodate as many residents as possible – in line with their vision of Oakland’s future as a bustling tech hub. The building provides Oakland with 230 new market-rate homes where there was once nothing but a parking lot, giving residents everything they need (and more.)
steps from BART, this bike-friendly tower is designed
for the future of urban living.
Quality materials and generous ceiling heights invite residents to relax and socialize in the variety of shared amenities, such as the resident’s lobby – a welcome respite from the lively commercial district just outside.
Other amenities include a fitness center, theater, and expansive rooftop decks featuring open lounge and recreation areas, kitchen and grill stations, and a community garden – all with stunning panoramic views around the Bay.