Care-Centered Planning Innovates for the Future
Clear founding principles are crucial to creating a place that responds to the changing needs of a community as it grows over the years. Warm Springs, now nearly complete, is an eight-year endeavor that shows how principle informed design transforms the urban landscape and lays the groundwork for a diverse Bay Area community that puts people first.
Lennar enlisted KTGY to craft a vision and master plan framework for Area Four, a 110-acre site within Fremont, California’s Warm Springs/South Fremont Community Plan. The foundation for Area Four includes six design principles; distilled from the city’s and client’s vision: Identity and Placemaking, Mix and Variety, Options and Choices, Sustainable by Design, Movement and Access Hierarchy, and Wellness. These principles create a framework, weaving together different facets of an economically and environmentally sustainable neighborhood that can evolve with market demands, trends and time.
This “Innovation District” combines a public school, retail, green space and a wide variety of homes in a thoughtful balance of experiences, densities and uses. The identity is thoroughly urban, with the transit station serving as a bustling public hub. Innovation Way is the main spine of the development, connecting the Warm Springs BART stop to Fremont Boulevard. Nodes of “rooms” along this spine showcase the intersection of varying land uses and residential typologies to create an activated streetscene that welcomes pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles that enter into the neighborhood. Along this main spine, commercial uses are situated near the BART Plaza creating an anchor point for public activity. This placement was a marked effort to reduce car dependency; allowing movement and access throughout the site to filter from intense near transit to less so further out.
Designed as a mix of public realm experiences, with the most intensive commercial uses close to the BART station, Innovation Way reinforces the human centric-design of Area Four. Residential density decreases in the half-mile radius from the station, offering a diverse range of lifestyle choices. Contemporary and modern-inspired buildings emphasize the urban character, and transitions in building facades support changes in density and experience. The mix of housing types opens the district to a diverse demographic; where renters and homeowners have options, and young professionals to empty nesters can find a home suited to their needs at their stage of life. Including variety allows for the community to transcend generations and create opportunities for all people at different income levels to live intermingled and near transit.
Placing for-sale homes at the quieter edges of the development creates the option to scale up without leaving the community. Commercial space and offices sitting alongside transit reduce car dependency, and human-scaled development is sustainable by design, encouraging active wellness through everyday use. Thoughtful circulation of the individual and traffic connects people and public space, creating spontaneous engagement between neighbors.
Design that encourages people to engage with the built environment and their neighbors leads to the kind of personal connections that weather changing trends. No single place is entirely futureproof, but by founding this design on strong principles, our team hopes people are inspired to carve out their own niche.
Owner | Masterplan: Lennar
Owner | Apartments: Quarterra
Owner | Affordable: St. Anton Partners
Owner | For-sale: Lennar
Owner | For-sale: Shea Homes
Master Planner | Architect: KTGY
Landscape Architect: Gate & Associates
The Guzzardo Partnership Inc.
Civil: Carlson, Barbee & Gibson, Inc.
Photography: Patrik Argast
Residential | Mixed Use | Commercial | Education
Site Area: 110.9 ac
School: 5 ac
Park: 4 ac
Number of Units: 2,606 du
Office | Retail : 703,270 sq. ft.