Blogging Bayport Alameda

June 3, 2014

Just a facade

Filed under: Alameda, Business, Development, Northern Waterfront — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

I was already largely happy with the designs for the Del Monte Building, I’m glad that this building is finally (crossed fingers) getting a project that has a likelihood of actually getting started and completely unlike the number of iterations that we have seen in the past.   But in preparation for the Historic Advisory Board meeting on Thursday it appears that Tim Lewis Communities has actually improved on the design for both the historic restoration and the modern building nestled inside.

The changes for the historic portion includes changing the overhangs from glass to perforated metal and adding variegated glass windows.

The changes to the modern building is pretty substantial in look.   First, while the original design was very boxy and flat, the updated design has created some different heights to give the new building more visual interest than a big box:




I know the designs still look a little flattened because of the one dimension renderings.    The parapets are new though.   I’m not sure if they serve any useful function or are there for visual interest only, but there you have it. If you see though the color scheme has changed for the better based on feedback. The staff report notes that:

The design team has reviewed several color schemes for the addition and has determined that the revised proposed colors (a light blue and dark blue) are most compatible with the base building for the following reason: The primary façade is a dark brown and has a strong cornice line with articulated pediments. From most viewpoints the addition is only minimally visible above this cornice line and contrasting (lighter) colors allow the cornice line to read uninterrupted.

So this next graphic is the visual of the following description of the change from the staff report:

The proposed material for the façade parallel to Buena Vista and Clement is a resin panel rain screen system in a light blue color. The module of this skin is 18″ to create a fine grained appearance that references the texture and scale of corrugated metal. The fenestration is to be a deep set nail fin aluminum window system to create a deep shadow line that references the industrial sash windows in the base façade. The proportion of the windows has been changed to respond to the finer grain of the industrial sash windows however, proportions that would mimic the industrial sash windows exactly have been avoided. The massing of the addition has been changed to incorporate shifting planes that resemble stacked shipping containers.



If you notice where the glass balconies are it appears to have “notched out” a portion of the larger building in order to reduce to overall massing of the bigger additions, which you can kind of see in the flat elevations, but only if you’re looking closely because it’s a little hard to figure out.

Full set of revised designs here.    For those that are interested the story poles are up at the Del Monte site showing how tall the addition of the new building should be in comparison to what currently exists.  I took photos but you really can’t get the scope of it from the photos, if anyone really wants to see my crappy photos I’ll post them otherwise I’m not going to bother because they’re pretty awful.  In case you can’t figure out which are the story poles (believe me for about 30 seconds I thought the existing flag poles were the story poles) they have pink flags on them.

If you get a chance look at the memos by the historic consultants, the Los Angeles project is wonderful and the addition is pretty amazing looking.


  1. Lauren,

    Like you, I am more interested in seeing the Del Monte site and building reinvigorated with a viable and appropriate project than in a “to-the-nines” historically perfect renovation–although historic preservation is important to me. The fact that TLC is responsive to the concerns of both our Planning Department and to preservationists is more important to me than how “perfect this particular iteration is, because I am certain that further improvements towards a suitably aesthetic design can–and will–be made.

    If we could just get all of the parties in the Neptune Point dispute to be as cooperative, agreeable, and talk to each other in a rational and peaceable manner, we’d be in business…

    Comment by Jon Spangler — June 3, 2014 @ 8:00 am

  2. Big improvement on the new section, although it still doesn’t integrate well visually with the old. Maybe it’s hard to see in the drawings and will look better once built. One would have thought they would mimic the roofline or something at least. It looks like two different sets of building blocks stuck together. Oh, well. Compromise is better than it sitting useless any longer.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — June 3, 2014 @ 11:39 am

  3. I like the new drawings but on the old part I would like glass overhangs, and get rid of the old doors and make it glass to let light in unless it is an entry way. Variegated glass windows would be much more expensive and harder to maintain. What you need to look at is the cost of maintenance of the new part as well, otherwise the HOA dues would make it impractical. No one wants to pay $300/month in HOA dues. I would love to see something done with the building, and hope the landscaping would complement the building as well…and please pull out the rail tracks.

    Comment by Joseph — June 5, 2014 @ 11:14 am

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