Rincon de los Esteros (Los Esteros) is a 246-unit affordable housing project on a 7.7 acre site in north San Jose. In all, there are eight residential buildings and a Clubhouse on the site. The buildings’ arrangement on the site creates diversity of open spaces. The buildings’ individual stoop entrances and gates to patios encourage strong resident interaction. The central cross axis open area includes the Clubhouse on one end and a secured Tot Lot and adjacent sitting area on the other.
At 3,034 square feet, the Clubhouse serves as a leasing and management office as well as the projects’ community and recreation center. The Clubhouse includes many amenities, such as a lounge with fireplace, video room with adjacent kitchen, restrooms with showers and offices for a Resident Services Coordinator and a leasing/management wing. Outside amenities include a 50-foot pool with ample sitting area and an arcade on two sides, which provides additional outdoor activity areas and also promotes a sense of enclosure and security.
All of the residential buildings are four stories with three of the buildings having a fully secured, single level, below grade podium parking garage. The site has 456 parking spaces with 102 spaces in the three garages. There are 12 one-bedroom units at 600 square feet. The two-bedroom units total 150 and range from 849 to 857 square feet. The remaining units are all three bedrooms, 84 units total, ranging from 1,104 to 1,400 square feet.
Building exteriors are wood horizontal siding and cedar shingles. There are wood decks, wood brackets and trellises, canvas awnings and other trim components to add color, articulation and richness to the buildings. The living rooms on the upper floors have raised ceilings with pyramid shaped roofs covered in painted metal roofing.
All of the buildings are further articulated with vertical planes of color. The Clubhouse has EIFS cladding, which is intended to complement the design of the residential buildings in order to achieve diversity and sense of hierarchy within the project. The smooth white walls of the Clubhouse add an additional element, distinguishing the unique role of this building within the community. At the same time, common themes (wood brackets, accent colors, metal roofing, pyramid roofed tower) are introduced to ensure a level of continuity.
Los Esteros was recognized with the “1985 Builder’s Choice Grand Award”, featured in the October, 1995 issue of Builder Magazine, and included in the January, 1996 issue of Architectural Record. In 1997, Los Esteros also received an “Honor Award” from the AIA/Santa Clara Valley Chapter.
Rincon de los Esteros Family Apartments
Year Completed: 1994
Architect: Fisher Friedman Associates, AIA
Contractor: Not specified
1780 Oakland Road
San Jose, California 95131