Restore Oakland
Emily Hagopian

Restore Oakland

Designing Justice + Designing Spaces as Architects

Restore Oakland is a 20,000 SF space extending over three floors of a reclaimed building at the corner of 34th Avenue and International Boulevard in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood. At Restore Oakland, residents can resolve conflict in spaces dedicated to restorative justice, get trained for higher-paying jobs in the restaurant industry, receive legal counseling for housing issues, host community organizing meetings, and enjoy a healthy meal at COLORS, a living wage restaurant. Restore Oakland’s highlights include:

 

The second floor
Restorative Justice Room and home of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

The main restorative justice room is flanked by two support spaces for peacemaking and conversations and lined with expression walls that can be utilized for messages, art, and flexible walls for creating privacy and refuge. Rooms feature multiple large windows that make the space more welcoming and nurturing versus traditional courthouses and prisons which have no windows and are dark and oppressive. Chairs are arranged in a circle in the tradition of peace circles used by many Native American cultures. Sky blue walls and furniture create a calming and soothing environment.

When people enter the Ella Baker Center offices they can be inspired by her spirit. The organization’s powerful logo, text, and images create a gateway to her legacy and brand the space with meaning. The Ella Baker Center takes advantage of its open plan by celebrating the height of the ceiling and light pouring in with large scale graphics and banners. Colored, textured, and natural finishes come together to create a comfortable and warm space. The floor’s shared spaces including the conference room and kitchen feature sliding or folding doors and surfaces where you can draw and create flexible work and play spaces for gatherings and meetings. Gender neutral bathrooms are designed with full-height partitions for privacy while thoughtful fixtures, colors, and lighting create a comfortable space.

 

The ground floor
Recognizing the rich diversity of the people it serves, imagery, texture, and natural materials are used in this space to subtly celebrate the food, the people, the menu, and the community it serves. The 4700 sq. ft.COLORS Restaurant features an open commercial kitchen to expose its mission of learning to the public while contributing to an exciting and dynamic dining experience. The space utilizes earthy colors and a range of fabrics ranging from textured wall partitions to a display of culinary tools and instruments that contrast well with bright colors from the seating and tableware and steel, wood, and stone fixtures.

 

The Basement (“The Den”)
Provides shared meeting room space for all tenancies on the first and second floors and the larger community. The wide corridors are activated with colorful movable furniture for small casual gatherings.

Guiding Principle: Basements have a long history of being a place where activists gather to facilitate change. The Restore basement serves as the area with the largest meeting spaces and presents an important opportunity to celebrate and re-imagine basement activism and how change agents use these types of spaces to impact their communities. The Den utilizes a fun and colorful approach. Meeting rooms are designed as playful “boxes” and the corridor serves as a relaxed den. Specifically, it features a mix of soft colorful furnishings, wood accents, exposed raw material finishes, bold graphics and vibrant feature walls.

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