Category Archives: Piedmont Ave

Baran Studio Architecture in the San Francisco Chronicle

John King, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Architecture Critic, has written an article on the development happening in and around the Mountain View Cemetery. A number of parcels were recently sold off and are in various stages of construction. Piedmont Walk is one of them.

King had this to say about the project:

“For me, the unapologetic punch of Piedmont Walk is a knockout. The forms are simple but they’re delivered with conviction rather than repetition. And the closer you look the better it gets, with such touches as the outdoor staircases on the 21st century triple-deckers, with a black steel structure and perforated railings that together make industrial chic look almost suave.”:

You can check out the full article here.



Also posted in News

Drone Flight

Today we had a drone fly over a project on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, CA. This is the first installment of a bi-monthly aerial photo update showing the progress of this project. Located in one of Oakland’s most successful commercial districts, the Piedmont Ave. project provides a hybrid development consisting 3 of small commercial/apartment buildings facing the street and 4 townhomes in the rear of the site, all of which sit on fee simple lots subdivided by Oakland’s innovative mini lot process. The architectural expression presents a modern interpretation of the commercial streetscape, but with a horizontal interplay of bay window and balcony projections, which engages the adjacent neighborhood context.

The third photo is an action shot of the drone. We will be adding a video of the drone tomorrow so stay tuned!.Piedmontstraight AnglePiedmont



Also posted in Construction, Projects

Piedmont Update

An image of the Piedmont Ave project, persevering through the rain:


Also posted in Projects

Lucky 13

Our project on Piedmont Ave has broken ground. A few photos:



Also posted in Construction, Projects

Repetition In Design

We have been working on a series of multi-unit projects in the office, and this post will be the first of several discussions on the subject of designing form that repeats, and what the various approaches to that problem are (at least at Baran Studio).


In this rendering, you can see variation present in the elevation. There is movement that carries from top to bottom and side to side. However, this variation is not without logic. Aspects of the form repeat, reflecting both a variation of space internal to the project, as well as the shifting location of modules throughout the project. The exterior identifies what happens on the interior.

The street elevation also reflects the horizontal orientation of this portion of the project – it contains flats, which stack. It is also intended to connect to the horizontal qualities of its neighbors, which contain various awnings and cornices.


This image illustrates the relationship between repeated elements to the rear of the property, off of the street. These forms contain a vertical quality that reflects that aspect of the space. Each form is a contained space. These connect to a smaller scale residential quality that exists towards the rear of the site, whereas the front of the projects sits in a more commercial context.

This approach is one that attempts to connect the architecture to both it’s internal and external contexts. A separate approach is to attempt to vary the exterior, which is often an attempt to disguise the repeated nature of the architecture. This usually results in somewhat dishonest ‘decoration’. However, such an approach can be used to provide variation to the repeated elements by integrating them with fluctuating interventions.

Also posted in Design, Projects, Theory