FOR SOME ARCHITECTS, IT WOULD be easy enough to do the absolute minimum when public housing is the objective. Architect Michael Pyatok takes a different view: Everyone should be on a quest to design better affordable housing.
The 53 low-income units comprising Oak Court Apartments are located in an affluent, established community of Arts and Crafts homes, so Pyatok designed seven Craftsman-inspired, three-story buildings to blend in with the neighbors. Using the formula of townhomes over flats, he arranged the buildings around a series of courtyards and gave each unit a patio or a balcony to provide extra outdoor space. A parking deck is discreetly hidden underground.
Category: Apartments—rentals; Entrant/Architect: Pyatok Architects, Oakland, Calif.; Builder: Segue Construction, Point Richmond, Calif.; Developer: Palo Alto Housing Corp., Palo Alto, Calif.; Landscape architect: PGA Design, Oakland