SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Award-winning architecture, interior design, and planning firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) is designing a striking new office building in Oakland, California. Located at 2201 Valley Street in the Uptown neighborhood, the building encompasses a full city block, replacing an existing parking lot and gas station with a 420-foot-tall office tower with parking, retail, flexible arts space, café, and green terraces and roof garden.
“Our design for 2201 Valley was inspired by the idea of Oakland’s past meeting its future,” said Chris Pemberton, President of SCB. “The city’s tradition of industry and craft is represented by the building’s prominent Corten structural expression; we paired this with a modern, high performance façade that signifies Oakland’s emergence as a new hub for technology.”
“We have enjoyed working with SCB on this important project for Oakland,” said Michael Covarrubias, TMG Partners CEO and a native of Oakland. “The firm’s creativity and technical expertise, along with their experience working with the city and its entitlements process, has been integral to getting this project approved. We look forward to beginning construction next year.”
The 750,000-square-foot building is envisioned as a vibrant vertical community, celebrating the arts movement in Oakland with ground floor arts and maker spaces, retail, and a potential black box theater space. It will rise 27 floors and provide 23 floors of 15-foot-high single- or multi-tenant office space; 3 levels of parking and a lobby with 30-foot-high ceilings. To break down the mass and scale of the structure, the building is segmented into a series of glass volumes with angled setbacks that create landscaped terraces. A vertical Corten seam that relates to the surrounding neighborhood storefronts and context creates a vertical connection to the community and binds the glass volumes together. The seam also provides balconies for each floor. The glass facade features a bold pattern of pleated curtain wall modules layered with functional exterior fins that reduce solar gain and glare. 2201 Valley is targeting LEED Gold certification.
SCB worked closely with structural engineer Magnusson Klemencic Associates to devise an ingenious solution to two structural challenges resulting from the BART mass-transit tunnel that runs diagonally beneath the site. The design uses three-story- tall trusses up to 200 feet long to create a bridge across the below grade tunnels. This system of bridges transfers building loads to the building’s perimeter to avoid impacting the tunnels. The building’s core was offset to the east to allow for elevator pits that would otherwise land on the tunnel. The shifted core required additional diagonal bracing at the west facade to resist large seismic demands. The overall form of the building with its shifting office volumes and tenant terraces is a result of fine-tuning the structural constraints below grade to create an elegant addition to the city’s skyline.
Construction of 2201 Valley will begin in mid 2020. SCB is also the architect of 1640 Broadway, Oakland’s tallest residential tower, which will open to residents in June 2019.
About Solomon Cordwell Buenz
SCB is an architecture, interior design, and planning firm that practices nationally from offices in Chicago and San Francisco. Since 1931, SCB has made a lasting impact on the nation’s skylines, campuses, and neighborhoods, helping its clients across the country achieve their goals, serve their constituencies, and make their mark. For more information, visit www.scb.com