Page Street Townhomes Go Vertical
By Ramona d’Viola
2 November 2017
College of Environmental Design (CED) alumnus Matt Wadlund (M.Arch ‘99), principal of Wadlund + Design Studio, recently designed a new infill development of four townhomes in Berkeley’s Ocean View District.
“The owner of the property approached me about an infill development,” said Wadlund, “and I had investors looking for a project. It all came together pretty nicely.”
Best known for its upscale boutiques and restaurants, the Fourth Street retail district was carved from a gritty, industrial area decades ago. Mixed among the handful of warehouses are breweries, coffee roasters, a cluster of single family homes, and blocks of land that are ripe for infill development.
Thanks to Wadlund, what was once an unappealing compound surrounded by concrete and chain-link fence has now been transformed into a modern, eco-friendly urban enclave. The four, 1,350-square-foot townhouses share the space with a newly-designed medical device research and development shop.
“This mixed-use approach reflects the neighborhood’s ethos,” said Wadlund. “It’s aggressively urban by design.”
Due to the limited square footage,Wadlund had to be efficient with the space and use “every inch of the property in thoughtful and purposeful ways.” The townhouses and the medical shop are all covered in a dark-grey metal and share a decomposed granite driveway with covered carports for each unit. The thoughtful design of the driveway allows for water to flow back into the ground rather than enter into the sewage system.
“The new owners will get a book on how to ‘use’ their home,” said Wadlund. “From solar to gray water and natural cooling techniques, these townhomes utilize the best practices for high-density, low-impact urban design.”
Each townhouse is currently on the market for $989,000 and features three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The units have been coined the “Page Street Panoramas.” Due to the shortage of ground-level real estate, the townhouses stretch vertically and are three stories tall.
On the ground floor is an en-suite master bedroom with a private outdoor patio. The room features floor-to-ceiling windows and access to the patio. On the second floor is a multipurpose room that has high windows to create an illusion of space while maintaining privacy. The room is split by a shoji-screen inspired sliding door. The third floor acts as a living room, dining room, and kitchen, which is equipped with energy-efficient appliances.
“I specified these homes with smaller refrigerators, perhaps one of the largest energy consumers in the home,” said Wadlund. “People who live in this neighborhood will most likely be eating out a lot, so we downsized the fridge and used the extra space for storage.”
Atop the three floors is a rooftop patio with a sliding hatch that doubles as a skylight. The rooftop also provides a space for the home’s solar panels. From this vantage, residents will have panoramic views of the entire Bay Area.
Read more about the townhouses here.