“We create cities in places where maybe they’re not supposed to be.”

Baran Studio Architecture is a multi-disciplinary firm founded by Matt Baran in the year 2010 in California. The principles that drive Baran Studio Architecture is centered on multifaceted adaptability. They believe in designing a project through extensive analysis and integration of deeper contexts which includes physical and psychological environment, history, culture, socialized beliefs, collective mindsets and notions of beauty, systems of erasure, and material qualities.

Their work ranges from single-family residences, mixed-use buildings, prefabricated multi-use residential, master plans, and conceptual designs. With an innovative design ethic combined with unique client-team interaction, they indulge in deeper contexts to create a unique responsive architecture.

1. MacArthur Annex

Location: Oakland, California
Year: 2017
Area: 4581 sq feet

The project is linked to various contexts that include existing structures, the network of containers that run through Oakland, and the local community of creative entrepreneurs. It consists of 33 used shipping containers which have the potential to roam and adapt themselves to the urban landscape. They are configured to adapt to various site influences like topography, existing structures, sound, light and shadow, building and zoning codes, and economy. The modules have the potential to be reconfigured and relocated, allowing for future adaptation.

MacArthur Annex - Sheet1
Macarthur Annex ©Baran Studio
MacArthur Annex - Sheet2
Macarthur Annex ©Baran Studio
MacArthur Annex - Sheet3
Macarthur Annex ©Baran Studio

2. Station House

Location: Oakland, California
Year: 2018
Area: 322,056 sq ft

Responsible for the design and execution of this pivotal project in West Oakland, Baran Studio developed a woven site plan which features a network of streets, alleys, pedestrian pathways, and open spaces while also achieving a density of 27 dwelling units per acre with a traditional townhouse housing type. Despite a site that can contain 19 structures and 171 total residential units, the proposed project includes a range of architectural styles and language. The variation responds to site conditions and ensures way-finding and community identification for future residents.

Station House- Sheet1
Station House ©Baran Studio
Station House - Sheet2
Station House ©Baran Studio
Station House - Sheet3
Station House ©Baran Studio

3. Gallot Lofts

Location: Oakland, California
Year: 2017
Area: 57,652 sq ft

 

On the site of a reconstructed and faux historic building, the studio proposed a project design that was tied by a significant neighborhood. Home to the industry that lived in the warehouses that dot the area, and the housing mixed with it to provide living quarters to mill and rail workers, Jingletown is now an arts district.  Gallot Lofts connects to this community through the expression of the architecture, incorporation of art, and the continuity of the green space that runs along the nearby estuary.

 Gallot Lofts - Sheet1
Gallot Lofts ©Baran Studio
 Gallot Lofts - Sheet3
Gallot Lofts ©Baran Studio
 Gallot Lofts - Sheet3
Gallot Lofts ©Baran Studio

4. Louis St.

Location: Oakland, California
Year: 2018
Area: 10,895 sq ft

The notion of 3-dimensional ‘Bento Box’ was the key design strategy, where components could slide, mirror, and interchange from house to house to adapt to various sites and their context. Similar to an artist’s loft, the houses make maximum use of spaces and provide a feeling of openness at the same time. This ordered, rationalist approach resulted in diverse and playful spaces.

Lousie St. - Sheet1
Lousie St. ©Baran Studio
Lousie St. - Sheet2
Lousie St. ©Baran Studio
Lousie St. - Sheet3
Lousie St. ©Baran Studio

5. Bordertown

Location: Oakland, California
Year: 2013
Area: 6131 sq ft

Next to many warehouses, a freeway, and an unsanctioned skate park created by locals, this home is a result of its setting and programmatic requirements. A corrugated metal rain screen wraps the house as camouflage and protection. The interior is interrupted by a diagonal line cutting through, integrating the home and the exterior yard, thus letting nature flow in seamlessly. The materiality of the home is an architectural response to the emerging DIY scene in Oakland.

Bordertown - Sheet1
Bordertown ©Baran Studio
Bordertown - Sheet2
Bordertown ©Baran Studio
Bordertown - Sheet3
Bordertown ©Baran Studio

6. Piedmont Walk

Location: Oakland, California
Year: 2016
Area: 19,463 sq ft

Situated in one of Oakland’s most successful commercial districts, the Piedmont Walk provides a composite development. It comprises 3 small work triplexes facing the street and 4 single-family townhomes in the rear of the site. The horizontal interplay of bay window and balcony projections engages the adjacent neighbourhood context. The architectural style is able to present a modern interpretation of the commercial streetscape.

Piedmont Walk- Sheet1
Piedmont Walk ©Baran Studio
Piedmont Walk- Sheet2
Piedmont Walk ©Baran Studio
Piedmont Walk- Sheet3
Piedmont Walk ©Baran Studio

7. Neo-Victorian

Location: Oakland, California
Year: 2016
Area: 4916 sq ft

To continue the development pattern of the neighbourhood, the proposed configuration was designed. The houses are a modern take on the Victorians that are prevalent in the area. Many of the homes that were built in that century were designed in pairs and/or triplets. The project further highlights the proportions and layout of historic Victorians without mimicking them. The house is punctured with gardens and open space, and was designed to preserve a large, existing Oak.

Neo-Victorian - Sheet1
Neo-Victorian ©Baran Studio
Neo-Victorian - Sheet2
Neo-Victorian ©Baran Studio
Neo-Victorian - Sheet3
Neo-Victorian ©Baran Studio

8. Automatic

Location: San Francisco, California
Year: 2013
Area: 12,250 sq ft

Beginning with an existing warehouse shell, the core concept for the transformation was to take care of the openness, clarity, and ease of the prevailing shell, and insert an adaptive ‘sleeve’ that responded directly to the program. The sleeve changes material and configuration, depending on its location within the project context and the way it’s required to perform, and interacts with the open space to take care of flexibility.

Automatic - Sheet1
Automatic ©Baran Studio
Automatic - Sheet2
Automatic ©Baran Studio
Automatic - Sheet3
Automatic ©Baran Studio

9. House in Valley Street

Location: Berkeley, California
Area: 1986 sq ft

This home is situated on a standard Berkeley street, and next to a former rail line. The architecture borrows from the machine qualities of the railway to echo the previous land use, and blends it with the character of the present residential neighbourhood. The roof and wall facing the previous rail line is wrapped in corrugated metal while the front depicts a traditional house form with a pitched roof. The interior is an open space that also recalls an outsized, open station with a free plan and high vaulted ceilings.

Automatic - Sheet3
Automatic ©Baran Studio
House in Valley Street - Sheet1
House in Valley Street ©Baran Studio
House in Valley Street - Sheet2
House in Valley Street ©Baran Studio
House in Valley Street - Sheet3
House in Valley Street ©Baran Studio

10. Shifted House

Location: Berkeley, California
Area: 1548 sq ft

Two volumes are shifted across the site with a third intersecting volume skewed to connect them. The shift in the form is done to adapt to the prevailing conditions and to accommodate the existing landscape, also keeping in mind the neighbors access to light, openness, and privacy. The resultant skew in the interior provides continuity in the space without compromising the clarity. Volumes are connected horizontally and vertically for increased legibility of the general interior form.

Shifted House - Sheet1
Shifted House ©Baran Studio
Shifted House - Sheet2
Shifted House ©Baran Studio
Shifted House - Sheet3
Shifted House ©Baran Studio

11. Sunset Blvd Adaptive Reuse

Location: Los Angeles, California
Year: 2016
Area: 5000 sq ft

This project of a new creative office space is set up in an existing 5,000 square foot warehouse, formerly an auto repair shop, in a commercial district. The project seamlessly respects the character of the existing historic building while accommodating recent uses and providing infrastructure for the 21st-century workplace.

 Sunset Blvd Adaptive Reuse - Sheet1
Sunset Blvd Adaptive Reuse ©Baran Studio
 Sunset Blvd Adaptive Reuse - Sheet2
Sunset Blvd Adaptive Reuse ©Baran Studio
 Sunset Blvd Adaptive Reuse - Sheet3
Sunset Blvd Adaptive Reuse ©Baran Studio

12. 58th Street

Location: Oakland, California
Year: 2014

The form integrates this single-family home into a more stylistically traditional neighborhood, while contemporary design elements and materials give it a modern outlook. Elements like the pitched roof and hung windows give a touch of a traditional home, but such elements are abstracted such that the roof becomes a skin that is wrapped all around the exterior and like a breaking wave, the wrap finally curls up into the entry area.

 58th Street - Sheet1
58th Street ©Baran Studio
 58th Street - Sheet2
58th Street ©Baran Studio
 58th Street - Sheet3
58th Street ©Baran Studio

13. 60th Street

Location: Oakland, California
Year: 2013
Area: 1500 sq ft

The 60th Street project is an ultra-compact and efficient box that sits on the back half of a standard Oakland lot. The sustainability of the project begins with the inherent increase in density, and carries through to site and space planning as well as materiality.

60th Street - Sheet1
60th Street ©Baran Studio
60th Street - Sheet2
60th Street ©Baran Studio
60th Street - Sheet3
60th Street ©Baran Studio

14. Buena Vista

Location: Oakland, California
Year: 2018
Area: 3245 sq ft

The boundaries of the site are irregular with no two edges parallel to each other, which creates an opportunity to align the built form to boundaries and create dynamic, yet functional spaces. The resultant folds are predominant in the external form and the interior space. The project is an integrated architectural experience that is able to blur lines between spaces and scales successfully.

Buena Vista - Sheet1
Buena Vista ©Baran Studio
Buena Vista - Sheet2
Buena Vista ©Baran Studio
Buena Vista - Sheet3
Buena Vista ©Baran Studio

15. Harmon

Location: Berkeley, California
Year: 2014

Harmon is a minimal and sustainable single-family house in California which is conceived as a modern interpretation of a traditional form. The corrugated metal roofing and the wooden slats that encompass the house enable privacy and light and reflect the character of the neighbourhood.

Harmon - Sheet1
Harmon ©Baran Studio

Harmon - Sheet2

Harmon - Sheet3
Harmon ©Baran Studio
Trishla Chadha
Author

Trishla Chadha is driven by a persistent desire to learn and to inform. Besides working as a Junior Architect, she is also associated with an International social organization with the aim of empowering women in our society. She is particularly intrigued by the sensitivity of architecture towards nature and people, as well as discovering new aspects that enrich the spatial experience.

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