Keller Plaza

occupied renovation of affordable housing with sustainability and accessibility upgrades

Keller Plaza is home to low-income Eritrean and Ethiopian families, as well as, seniors in Oakland’s diverse Temescal neighborhood where low-income housing is in high demand. Originally built in 1973, the development has 201 apartments in seven buildings and ample open space. Our design was informed by a resident-led process that established community priorities and influenced us to look beyond accessible code requirements to weave universal design concepts into all aspects of the renovation. In this occupied renovation we addressed the property’s capital repair needs, dramatically improved energy efficiency and accessibility, created more welcoming community spaces, and better connected the development with its surroundings; the design includes a main gate entry map and uses color on the buildings and doorways to improve way-finding throughout the development, solar-tube natural day-lighting to improve visibility in corridors, a wide ramp at the entry gate that provides seating for residents seeking a resting spot, and the replacement of damaged concrete to eliminate tripping and slipping hazards in corridors prone to flooding.

Location: Oakland, California

Client: Oakland Housing Authority & Mosaic Urban


Architect: Salazar Architect Inc. led the design process through all phases, from conceptual design through construction, SGPA was prime, and Stephen Laird Doherty contributed to the community building.

Units: 201 apartments

Community Space: 2,612 sf

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All designs and images © Salazar Architect Inc. 2019 unless otherwise noted