The quaint Northern California town of Campbell has a few claims to fame. It's the original home to e-Bay and the birthplace of fruit cocktail (although the latter remains a topic of some dispute). These days it's getting noticed for an expanding light-rail system and a subsequent boom of transit-oriented development. The walkable downtown, which is served by three light-rail stations, is attracting young urbanites as well as move-down buyers in search of a small-town atmosphere with easy access to Silicon Valley.
Architect and land planner Alex Seidel devised a clever solution for this half-acre, infill site sandwiched between the light-rail tracks, historic warehouses, and the Campbell Water Tower. Twenty-four townhouses wrap around a central courtyard, and each has its own walk-up entry, accessed either from the street or the courtyard. The eclectic surroundings influenced the project's exterior character, with brick walls and steel canopy and balcony details.
The benefits of the building layout are best expressed on the inside, where two-story operable window walls provide a plethora of natural daylight and ventilation. Most units, ranging in price from $625,000 to $850,000, have multiple exposures with views of the town, an adjacent public park, or the surrounding hills. Award: PROJECT Grand for best attached housing project (for sale)—18 to 40 units/acre
Builder/Developer: Regis Homes of Northern California, San Mateo, Calif.
Architect/Land planner: Seidel/Holzman, San Francisco