Refined Plans for an Important Berkeley Infill Site
Refined Plans for an Important Berkeley Infill Site


The refined plans for a seven-story building to rise up to 75 feet in height upon the Berkeley Touchless Car Wash and gas station site at the intersection of Kittredge, Fulton and Oxford Streets have been drawn.

And as designed by Kava Massih Architects, the proposed development – which includes the adjacent parcel at 2150 Kittredge Street upon which a four-story office building currently stands as well as a little spur that extends to Bancroft Way, effectively wrapping around the adjacent Longfellow building – would yield 165 residential units (33 of which would be offered at below market rates) over 23,000 square feet of new ground floor retail space and an underground garage for 52 cars (including 4 car share spaces) along with a rooftop garden and decked-out space.

From the design team:

The project is very much rooted in traditional design patterns while at the same time incorporating gestures and materials that are modern and current. By accentuating the two lower floors which are built of concrete, we are able to create a proportionate plinth for the five floors of building above. The concrete base is 25 feet in height and the floors above are 50 feet which gives the building a comfortable and traditional sense of balance.

In essence, the facade has three frontages; one on Kittredge, one on Fulton and one on Bancroft. On Bancroft and Kittredge, the new building bookends the Longfellow building, a beautiful historic structure. The Longfellow building has very pronounced horizontal lines. The downtown Design Guidelines encourage continuing and extending existing horizontal lines in new building designs. In contrast, Guidelines from the Department of the Interior regulating buildings adjacent to historic structures advises designers to not mimic the historical buildings. Because old structures like the Longfellow Hall have very tall floor heights, they often don’t coincide with new buildings like ours with more moderate floor heights. Making horizontal connections between the two can sometimes feel contrived.

Our approach is to design a distinctly vertical section of new building immediately adjacent to the Longfellow building to act a small buffer between the old and new structures.

And having “strived to reach a balance of the old and the new and a design worthy of the important site it will occupy,” with finishes intended to “convey permanence and solidness,” the refined plans for the proposed 2176 Kittredge Street project will be presented to the Berkeley’s Design Review Committee this week.





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