5418 College Avenue

location:Berkeley, CA
completion:2006

The building at 5418 College Avenue was home to a family owned garment business for over 50 years. It is 7,275 square feet in footprint on an 8,245 square foot lot near the corner of College and Manila Avenues in Oakland’s Rockridge neighbrhood. The existing structure was a one story combination of masonry and wood frame construction.

This project preserved and rehabilitated the existing structure for retail usage and redesigned the building facades. The two major design elements of the project were a new awning and a system of sliding windows.

The awning, which runs continuously along the College Avenue elevation, is six feet deep and made from steel and cedar. The awning provides shade and some cover from the elements. It also defines an outdoor corridor of space along the street.

The sliding window system allows retail tenants of the building a large degree of flexibility. The system can function as glass wall storefronts when closed or as wide stretches of direct sidewalk access when open. Each of the windows bypasses the others independently, allowing openings of varying sizes.