Wherever you roam at Oak Knoll, nature will always lead you home.
Within this pocket of pristine beauty, nature is all-encompassing, restorative and unfolding at every turn. Rifle Range Creek, newly freed from its underground culvert, runs its way over fascinating rocks of all sizes to nourish new flora and fauna and create a refreshing focal point for creek-side pursuits.
Landscaping returns to its native California palette—from planting 8,000 live oaks throughout the community, harvesting new plant life from preserved cuttings and removing invasive eucalyptus to safely relocating 25 large-specimen oak trees to signature locations—for the enjoyment of all. They join buckeyes, willows, wildlife and wildflowers for your endless wonderment.
Miles of paved pathways and crushed granite trails beckon families, runners, cyclists, hikers, dog walkers and naturalists on untold adventures. Every nook invites you to connect with nature and neighbors amid soul-stirring beauty and unfettered spaces.
Parks & Open Space
Oak Knoll provides public parks and spaces for you and your family to inhabit and enjoy.
Creekside Park invites you to stop and enjoy the outdoors with its unique collection of stone benches and table.
Created by national award-winning Bay Area sculptor,Yoshikawa Wright, these artworks intentionally amplify qualities in the natural surroundings.
Discover more art in Woodland Park, along with trail markers and benches perfectly placed for a midday coffee break or an impromptu family picnic.
The carefully restored Rifle Range Creek flows freely through the community and can be crossed by foot or vehicle on the stunning leaf-patterned bridge, created for the Oak Knoll community by San Francisco artist Bruce Tomb.
Whimsical themes infuse the bike racks and benches distributed throughout Oak Knoll, both designed and crafted by local Oakland artist, Mark Bulwinkle.
The growing community features over 900 new residences, a community center, biking and walking trails and a 72,000 sq ft neighborhood retail center.
This retail plaza, which features tilework crafted by Oakland designer, Johanna Poethig, provides easy, convenient access for residents to shops and lifestyle amenities, including a grocery and café.
Walk down to this inviting retail town square for some light shopping and people watching, or meet up on the weekends with neighbors or friends to catch up over coffee or for a light brunch.
Outdoor gathering spaces and local artwork unite every element for an authentic and unique community vibe.
Club Knoll Recreation Center
Built in 1928 to promote the spirit of good fellowship. Newly restored for the very same reason.
The heart of community beats steadily within the lofty spaces of the Club Knoll recreation center-standing sentry within walking distance of every residence, where its iconic belltower rises amidst the graceful oaks.
Imagine weekend gatherings with new friends at the outdoor fireplace under twinkling lights. Flawless weddings in the voluminous ballroom Joyful social events with Oakland Hills neighbors. And coveted parties on the sprawling terrace, where the views unfurl over an awe-inspiring tapestry of oak-strewn hills, billowy clouds and the creek that runs all the way through it all.
Massive, rambling and restored inch by inch with care, Club Knoll welcomes one and all with romantic Spanish-style architecture, several massive stone fireplaces inside and out), a traditional Spanish garden, two floors of gathering places and historic design details everywhere you look.
Once built in a sheltered spot on the fringes of the site, Club Knoll has been painstakingly relocated to the center of the community to be more accessible to all. So new memories and stories will once again fill its hallowed surrounds.
In April 2016, Oak Knoll Venture Acquisitions commissioned the creation of a public art master plan for the Oak Knoll Community.
The stakeholders discussed budget obligations, potential sites, public access, and the artist selection process. The resulting master plan identified five sites that would employ the call for entry process to seek qualified artists.
Requests for qualifications (RFQs), seeking professional California artists, were published on a variety of nonprofit websites such as the California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, Berkeley Art Center, and Pro Arts. They were also published on for-profit sites such as CaFE. Public Artist and Artlist and mailed to arts organizations throughout California.
The artist selection process was conducted from September 2016 to June 2017. Selection panels, composed of arts professionals, community members, and Oak Knoll Venture Acquisitions representatives, were assembled for each of the public art sites. Three artists, per site, were selected to develop proposals. The selection panels reconvened to review the proposals, interview the semifinalists, and make their final selection.
Meet The Artists
Yoshikawa is the recipient of numerous national sculpture awards. After graduating from the University of Colorado, Boulder, he apprenticed as a sculptor in the stone quarries of Shodoshima, Japan. Some highlights of his career include creating a Memorial Arch for the Los Angeles Fallen Firefighters Memorial. large travertine water walls for the five-star Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach and water sculptures for Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Beverly Hills and his Chinois restaurant in Las Vegas.
The two-acre park is at the primary entrance to the Oak Knoll Community, between Mountain Bivd., Creekside Parkway, and Rifle Range Creek. It will have pedestrian access from both Mountain Blvd. and Creekside Parkway with a path that leads to picnic and play areas. The new park will adjoin the restored creek and will be landscaped with a native California palette.
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Creekside Park Proposal
Prior to developing his concept for the Creekside Park, Yoshikawa interviewed veterans who served at the Naval Hospital, Oakland. He was struck by the words and sentiments which expressed their willingness, and their duty, to be of service to others. Connections and relationships emerged as a common denominator. Itis through connections and relationships that one is healed or made whole.
Black granite sculptures in the form of interlocking puzzle pieces will represent implied, potential, or actual connection. This abstraction will be expressed in three different locations in the park. Working closely with PGA Landscape Design of Oakland, Yoshikawa will be creating distinct natural environments or “cul-de-sacs” for viewers to engage with the art.
Installation in summer of 2022.
After getting an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1973 and working locally as a ceramist, Mark attended John O’Connell Technical School, becoming an industrial welder—a move he deems central to his education as a craftsman and artist. While working as a union boilermaker, he still found time to create the “Thrillah on Manilla,” enveloping his small Oakland bungalow with thousands of rusted steel figures. Through the ‘80s he exhibited nationwide in numerous galleries (among them the John Berggruen Gallery) and currently takes on private commissions, including 28 sculptures at the East Bay Plaza in Oakland/Emeryville and a gateway at the Lou Harrison estate in Joshua Tree.
Oak Knoll Public Amenities
Throughout the Oak Knoll Community there will be opportunities for the placement of bicycle racks and benches. Bicycle racks will be required by the City of Oakland at the Community Center to encourage bicycle transportation. Benches may be located at common areas such as the pedestrian pathways connecting the Community Center to housing and retail.
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At some point in Mark’s long love affair with steel he developed a technique he calls “steel bamboo,” a process of flaring the ends of short sections of galvanized pipe and welding them together to create structural elements very much in keeping with his art’s organic themes. For Oak Knoll, steel bamboo embellished with steel critters will be configured to create utilitarian art.
Working with Architectural Dimensions, Mark will provide bicycle rack compositions on the north and south sides of the Community Center. In addition, benches and dog bag dispensers will be strategically placed along the pedestrian trailheads at the Community Center, Creekside Loop, and pedestrian bridge.
All the amenities have been fabricated and are gathering a natural patina at Mark’s west Oakland outdoor studio, awaiting installation.
Installation in late 2022.
Johanna is known for her monumentally scaled murals and architecturally integrated public art, socially engaged collaborations, multimedia installations, and performance. She is currently lead artist for a 1.5 million-dollar project to create public art for 34 AC Transit bus stations along a 9-mile transit corridor from downtown Oakland to San Leandro. Other projects include art for the Bernal Library in San Francisco, a historic building in downtown Chicago, and San Francisco’s Juvenile Justice Center. She received her MFA at Mills College and is a professor emeritus of painting and public art at California State University, Monterey Bay.
Retail Village Plaza
The Oak Knoll Retail Village will be comprised of a full-service grocery, restaurants, and retail shops providing services to the Oak Knoll Community and surrounding neighborhoods. Atits heart is an intimately scaled pedestrian plaza featuring a landscape of mature oaks. The plaza will provide expanded frontage for retail and restaurant facades, outdoor dining, and a place for neighbors to meet and socialize. Main Street, adjacent to the plaza, will be designed to allow the plaza to expand for events such as farmers’ markets.
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Retail Village Proposal
Plants are one of the favorite subjects for art and public art for the endless possibilities of their intricate patterns, range of color, and amazing forms. Johanna’s proposal explores our response to the beauty of plants by appreciating their aesthetics juxtaposed to the science that helps us uncover the systems that create life.
The signature piece will be located at the retail plaza entrance. A large scale (10’x45′) image created of tiny glass pixels will be installed on a building facade that overlooks the central plaza. Emerging from a golden California landscape, oak tree leaves form the centerpiece spiral. Succulents, flowers, and spiral diagrams fill the composition in a lively mix of plant forms, patterning, and color.
In addition, the botanical patterns can be architecturally integrated throughout the retail plaza in stamped paving, etched glazing, and perforated trellises or awnings that project pattern shadows.
This project is in its infancy. As the site plan and building facades are developed, Johanna will be working with the Village Retail architects to ensure that her concepts are seamlessly incorporated. ”
Bruce established his interdisciplinary practice in 1998. He has taught at UC Berkeley, Cal Poly, and San Luis Obispo, and is a senior adjunct professor at California College of Arts in San Francisco/Oakland, teaching Architectural Design and Sculpture Studios since 1989. Through both commissioned and experimental projects, he has investigated dynamic relationships between people, sites, buildings, technology, and environment. Past endeavors include the (de)Appropriation Parklet, a memorial to free speech, supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission through an Individual Artist Commissions grant, and a collaboration with Chip Lord and Curtis Schreier on the Ant Farm Media Van v.08 [Time Capsule] and the Time Capsule Triptych, both the subject of the 2016 book, The Present Is the Form of All Life.
1. Tell Us About Your Career In Architecture And Art?
2. What Concepts Informed Your Composition For The Rifle Range Bridge Public Art?
3. What Is Your Relationship With Oak Knoll And The Oakland Hills?
4. How Was The Rifle Range Bridge Public Art Installed?
Creekside Loop Bridge
A 120-foot-long corten steel, gusset-truss vehicle and pedestrian bridge, anchored by 30-foot-long stone-clad abutments, will span the Rifle Range Creek. The bridge serves as the primary access to a majority of Oak Knoll Community housing. It will be viewed by pedestrians hiking a 10-foot-wide trail along the Creekside Parkway, motorists entering the residential neighborhoods, and residents and visitors walking across the bridge, as well as visitors to the adjacent Community Center.
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Creekside Loop Bridge Proposal
The art component for the vehicle bridge is a cast-iron railing running along the outermost edges of the pedestrian walkways. The goal of the project is to provide an intimate version of 19″*century technology to complement the robust bridge trusses. The corten bridge structure has a mottled rust coloration giving it a rugged painterly quality. The cast-iron system, likewise, is uncoated, a living surface, and will be allowed to rust in a similar manner. The castings’ intricate design highlights this graceful aging process with the lively surfaces of a Penrose geometry, holding light and shadow. When viewed up close from the pedestrian walkway, the two-sided castings present leaf forms. When the bridge is viewed from afar, the railing’s pure geometry resonates with the triangulated trusses.
David was trained as an artist, blacksmith, and metal fabricator. Currently he works on both public and private commissions. While his work includes both traditional sculpture and architectural metalwork, his focus is on conceptually driven art in which the work and the site collaborate. He has installed large-scale work in upstate New York and floating work in the San Francisco Bay and a bridge, guardrails, and gates that are integrated into a creek restoration at an Alameda County library.
The Oak Woodland is a three-acre natural area adjacent to Rifle Range Creek that will be preserved during development. A loop footpath of decomposed granite will be installed through its length, parallel to the creek, with a trailhead at the foot of the new pedestrian bridge.
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David proposes a single work composed of many parts that draws visitors through the landscape. The sculpture is most vertical at the entry point to attract attention. There, a palette of colors, a language of forms, and a dialogue between materials and the landscape is established. The work becomes more spread out and horizontally oriented as it leads people through, encouraging them to look, linger, and take full advantage of the wooded trail and views of Rifle Range Creek.
As people move along the path, the visuals are punctuated by several other sculptural elements made of forged, inflated, and fabricated corten steel, stainless steel, and granite boulders.
The forms, materials, and colors will harmonize with the location, providing points of focus while allowing the environment to take center stage.
Installation in summer of 2022.