A multi-cultural affordable housing and retail development celebrating heritage and diversity

Hismen Hin-Nu (Sun Gate Terrace) is a mixed-use development in Oakland, California, with 92 units of low-income housing and 14,000 square feet of retail space. The project turned an abandoned supermarket site known as a haven for drug dealers into a safe, vibrant mixed-use space. Local contractors were used throughout the process, and the resulting complex has become a local landmark, helping to create a sense of place in a once-derelict neighborhood.

Hismen Hin-nu demonstrates the connection between design and urban context, the value of a multi-cultural, participatory design process, and what can be achieved through the use of local architectural vernacular.

1997 Selection Committee

The project celebrates the cultural and ethnic diversity of the area with multi-cultural art motifs throughout the residential and retail development. The design is based upon historic California architectural motifs, and the varying unit configurations help accommodate the diverse heritage of its residents. Community members were involved in multiple workshops throughout the design process. The retail area includes a market hall with both indoor and outdoor market space to encourage engagement with the community. Hismen Hin-nu is an exemplary small-scale community development project that emphasizes a participatory planning process and a model for racial and ethnic cooperation.