commercial and residential architects - kahn design associates

Berkeley Plaza
Berkeley, CA

This small commercial building was considered a dog, both aesthetically and financially. Its original 1970's cinderblock construction, sunken store entries and concrete "landscaping" made it so difficult to lease that it eventually became locally known as "The Homeless Hilton." Working within a tight budget we renovated the building's exterior and created a vibrant, appealing structure that is now fully leased. The economical improvements included stucco over the existing cinderblocks, new contemporary color palette, refinishing of the exposed wood trusses, new lighting, and new building signage. We also created a small plaza leading to the retail spaces by replacing an intrusive concrete wall and outdated plantings with new gabion (stone) retaining walls, colorful plantings, and new stained concrete paving.

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