El Paseo

SAN JOSE Address: 4960 Hamilton Ave, San Jose
Owner: First Community Housing
Contractor: Branagh Inc
Units: 96 Studios
Completed: 2003
Cost: $10.5M
Included in the program for this project of affordable studios were a large courtyard, community lounge, gym, computer lab and laundry. The project site, a small, triangular lot at the intersection of two busy avenues marks the termination of a miles-long stretch of featureless apartment buildings and the start of a busy commercial area. The design solution boldly asserts the urban significance of its location by transforming the site limitations into a striking architectural form. The building became an instant landmark at its completion - a much-needed point of reference in an area lacking identity and definition. It’s most prominent feature is a blade-edged roof that hovers above and overhangs the building. It sweeps dramatically around the acute-angled intersection, shading the walls from the mid-day sun.