Fourth Street East – City on Down: Architecture in the East Bay

AIA California

July 24, 2019

Fourth Street East by KTGY Architecture + Planning in Oakland, CA. Photo by Abraham & Paulin Photography.

The discourse of architecture related to the Bay Area often focuses on one particular “City by the Bay,” but so many interesting buildings continue to sprout up in the East Bay and in Oakland, in particular.  AIA California’s second Board of Directors meeting of 2019 on the UC Berkeley campus this month brings an opportunity to highlight some of the great things happening in the profession in the East Bay right now.

Oakland, like many other so-called “Second Cities” has been experiencing a renaissance of construction and redevelopment since the Great Recession.  Multiple neighborhoods have seen design and construction of new mixed-use buildings.  One such project is Fourth Street East [full disclosure: I worked on this project] by my firm, KTGY Architecture + Planning, in the Jack London District of Oakland.  Replacing a vacant one-story office building and its surface parking lot, Fourth Street East brings high-density housing, retail space at the ground level, public art through the adjacent freeway overpass, and a sidewalk where there previously was none.

Stadium & Mixed-Use Dev
Stadium & Mixed-Use Development at Howard Terminal Stadium in Oakland, CA. Image by BIG: Bjarke Ingels Group.

Stadium & Mixed-Use Development at Howard Terminal Stadium in Oakland, CA. Image by BIG: Bjarke Ingels Group.

The highest-profile upcoming project in Oakland is the new waterfront stadium by BIG: Bjarke Ingels Group.  Not only will this entirely privately-funded stadium provide a new exciting home for the Oakland Athletics, the project also includes high-density mixed-use housing and commercial space in the Jack London District.  Not only will the Howard Terminal be transformed by redevelopment, but a gondola is proposed to bring baseball spectators from BART stations in Downtown Oakland to the site.  There is also a companion project that redevelops the current home of the Oakland A’s, the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum, into a public park and event space.

And there are many others, too.  So next time you are in the Bay, take another look at that other major California city across the water to the east.