with envelope A+D

Status : Complete
Year : 2015 - 2018
Location: Oakland, CA
Client : LBA Realty

Inspired by the success of our PROXY project in Hayes Valley, San Francisco, LBA Realty engaged envelope A+D to provide design, fabrication, and activation services for the temporary activation of an existing parking lot behind their new Foundry31 development. An adaptive reuse of a former typewriter factory, the Foundry31 development has an unusual frontage: the primary entrance for the building’s office + creative tenants is from the adjacent Berkeley-Emeryville Greenway, rather than one of the surrounding streets.

This entry meant that, rather than an infrastructural afterthought, the parking lot is the first thing visitors see when entering or exiting the building. At the same time, permanent improvements weren’t possible given the potential for future developement of the site. Our response was to design a simple framework for the activation of the space, using a ground graphic, movable site furniture, and perimeter improvements to structure the circulation to and between a new set of programmatic uses.

Inside of this lightweight structure, the envelope A+D activations team realized a series of community-oriented programs, anchored by a summertime outdoor film series. Forming relationships with nearby businesses, these activations became an opportunity for young brands to spread their reach and recognition.

As a test of an economy of means, the Greenway31 project demonstrated that the tools pioneered over years of site activation at PROXY and NOW Hunters Point could still be successful in coallescing community and creating place given a more modest physical + programmatic footprint.