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Virginia Street Studios

Company: Autovol
Affiliates: AO / Architects Orange, Prefab Logic
Location: San Jose, CA, USA
Gross Size of Project:
153,120 Square Feet
Days to Complete:

Award Criteria

Architectural Excellence

Making beautiful use of a unique lot size and shape, Virginia Street Studios is the largest senior affordable housing project in San Jose, CA. It is the first project manufactured by Autovol, a modular manufacturer using automation and robotics in an inventive new way. The seniors-only, 301-unit property offers easy access to the 101, 280, and 87 freeways. Amenities include ground floor covered parking, community room, a modern and spacious courtyard, fitness center, pet and BBQ areas, breezeway entries, a unique 9,450 sq. ft. rooftop deck with an urban garden and 360-degree views, onsite laundry facilities, elevators and street-level parking. All the apartment rooms and many common areas were built inside the Autovol factory. The unique angular design required a lot of collaboration with the onsite crew. Many collaborators leaned into this project where conventional onsite construction may have been near impossible due to traffic and space constraints onsite.

Technical Innovation & Sustainability

Virginia Street Studios put Autovol’s new automated modular manufacturing approach to the test for the first time. From models created by Prefab Logic, code had to be formulated to drive innovative robotic and automation systems. Floors, walls, and ceilings were built by robots. Automation and other machines were all designed with the primary goal of reducing heavy lifting and physical stress on tradespeople, who completed all units. No modules left the factory floor unfinished, and the building set team took note of how the automated precision enhanced the set efficiency and accuracy.

Cost Effectiveness

This project packs 301 living spaces into a 1.8 acre site while providing a large courtyard and very spacious rooftop deck. Since the units are all studio apartments, this affords residents affordability due to square footage of space balanced with spacious community areas to enjoy on the property—both indoors and out. The degree of standardization in materials used provide top quality fixtures including vinyl plank flooring, ceiling fans, AC units, and full-size appliances. By careful planning, the factory was able to complete significant portions of the common areas for the property in factory.

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