The biggest challenge facing the architects of Legacy at Museum Park was integrating the project into its diverse neighborhood. An infill project that aims to revitalize the downtown area of San Jose, Calif., the project is surrounded on all four sides by commercial and industrial businesses and single-family bungalows that have been converted into small offices.

In order to pull off the project, Meeks + Partners decided on housing types that included three-story garden walk-ups, urban row houses, and live/work lofts to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding fabric. Along the edge, the 22 lofts "interface with the existing commercial development," says architect Kevin R. Newman. "It feels like an extension of the commercial component." Because of its location near restaurant supply stores and tire shops, the facade features large aluminum store-front framing windows on the ground level and a combination of fixed and operable glazing units on the upper level. Each unit also has a small balcony that fronts the street.

Varying in sizes ranging from 838 to 1,300 square feet, the lofts have informal open plan interiors with a double-height living room, island kitchen, and powder room on the first level, and bedroom loft and full bath on the upper level. The units rent from $1,299 to $3,050 per month.

Category: Lofts; Entrant/Architect: Meeks + Partners, Newport Beach, Calif.; Builder: Daniel Silverie, Monterey, Calif.; Developer: Legacy Partners Residential, Foster City, Calif.; Landscape Architect: The Guzzardo Partnership, San Francisco; Interior Designer: Taylor-Roberts Design, Philo, Calif.

Steve Hinds Photography

Minding the Store

Aluminum storefronts are a mainstay in commercial construction, but the products are showing up in single-family and multifamily housing for those seeking an industrial look. Keeping with the adjacent commercial enterprises, Meeks + Partners used standard brushed aluminum doors and windows on this project. The units have 3 1/4-inch-deep frames and clear anodized glass. The products help the facade feel at home in the neighborhood, says architect Kevin R. Newman.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Jose, CA.