An eddy in the urban stream
MacArthur Commons transforms a former parking lot in Oakland into something profoundly human: A pedestrian-oriented village, filled with color and life, right next to the Bay Area’s largest BART station.
These images and short videos have been photographed, edited, and curated to faithfully communicate MacArthur Commons’s design themes, elements, and surroundings.
Our efforts focused on three project design principles:
With a colorful, visually compelling design, MacArthur Commons reinforces pedestrian movement through this neighborhood, with pockets of calm providing respite. Each building—and the common spaces between them—reinforces these shared public spaces.
The BART station building mimics the movement of transit, with highly visible green, grey, and black patterns. The strong, white corners of the courtyard building activates Telegraph Avenue. And Building C shifts from urban/public by the BART station to more private, two-story walk-up units and retail.
Ground-floor retail beckons passersby and visitors, and the mews connects the buildings, catalyzes development and draws people together. Each of the three buildings form harmonious yet distinct communities that reflect the surrounding neighborhood.
Celebrating vivid, honoring quiet
MacArthur Commons is a transit-oriented village that serves two seemingly opposite needs: moving through the city and being home.
Our photos of MacArthur Commons capture its colorful, energetic public identity with meticulous detail. At the same time, intimately framed images honor this community’s quieter gestures and private moments. Together, both approaches express the thick design intent behind—and the varied human responses to—MacArthur Commons.
Planning & Principle Photography: