West Oakland Studios

Oakland, CA

New ground-up studios. We designed the building in a contemporary Victorian style, keeping with the proportions of the neighboring row of 1890’s Victorians while simplifying the details for the client’s aesthetic and budget. The building is designed with a flexible floor plan to allow multiple uses for the client and her community over time. The lot was challenging for approvals due to its small size and narrowness; we pushed the City to approve several Variances to allow the client to build what she wanted and needed to make the project work. Creative use of inexpensive and salvaged materials, as well as a layout that allows overlapping uses and maximizes use of the space, give the building character and good function within a very modest budget.

Alexandra, I’m not sure if this fully expresses my gratitude, but I hope it suffices. I’ve already recommended you to several people! I interviewed 5 architects before selecting Alexandra and her team. I had sent out an RFP, and she sent back a very detailed list of reasons why she would be perfect for my project. We had a great interview, and it was her knowledge of traditional architecture that sold me. We were required to fit with the neighborhood which had many Victorian houses. While I couldn’t afford to build a Victorian style house (who can these days!), she created something that neighbors say really fits the neighborhood. I’m so proud of my new house! I had a narrow vacant lot in West Oakland. We built a new ground-up house with extra spaces for rental income. The work included installation of water, PG&E, and a new driveway with off street parking. I had a long list of wishes and my intentions for what I wanted to create. Low-income housing for me and at least 2 tenants within my community. I was on a VERY tight budget, and Alexandra worked with me incredibly on that. During construction, Alexandra often stepped in to help everything to go smoothly. I found her and her assistant who helped draw the plans very knowledgeable, detail oriented, and great advisors. Alexandra never lost her cool, always stayed calm and helpful. Building a brand new house on a tight budget can be exasperating, but whenever I consulted with Alexandra, she helped me keep it together. I cannot recommend her highly enough, and I miss working with her!

- Client