The Didion

A Modern loft Living Prototype

Williams + Paddon partnered with Urban Elements to bring modern loft living to the Sacramento housing market. The Didion features 12 condo units with living and bedroom spaces free of partitions that allow one space to flow into another. The sense of spaciousness is achieved with high ceilings and large windows that open to an east-facing balcony that runs the full length of the unit.

Residents will take advantage of the best of Sacramento climate designed to allow dining in the shade on summer evenings and to take advantage of the characteristic southwestern Delta breezes.


This project weaves together the urban fabric of J Street by maximizing the potential of a former parking lot site. The small 40 x 160 lot accommodates a production bakery, twelve residential lofts and four parking stalls.

Challenges + Solutions

Lack of space is the main challenge with tight infill projects. There is minimal area to locate and route utilities, you have to choreograph the use of every square inch of the site. A successful negotiation of these challenges requires close team collaboration, we were fortunate that RCP Construction was brought on board early in the process.

With virtually no space for materials staging areas, our Client was able to negotiate space with neighboring properties and close off a section of the alley. Such tight constraints are a major consideration as they can effect sequencing and duration of the project.

(east-facing balconies)

This project had its own set of unique challenges. The lot size and shape in-fill between existing buildings, alley, and street required alternative construction considerations.

Terry Green, AIA – Principal

Another complexity with these types of projects is how to physically construct walls directly against the neighboring properties where buildings are zero lot line.

For the western property line wall, we utilized concrete block for the first floor to build from the interior outward. We continued the upper 3 floor exterior walls with wood framed construction and cement plaster. The challenge was minimized because our Client owned the neighboring property which would be undergoing renovation, so we were able to sequence the schedules to remove the neighboring roof to place scaffolding for the application of exterior finishes.


The eastern edge of the property line faced its own difficulties with large expanses of glass and cantilevered balconies. This challenge was not necessarily a physical constraint but it required a careful understanding of building codes for fire and life safety considerations.

The Result

The four-story mixed-use building’s architecture is restrained and simplistic as a punctuation in a block consisting of single-story industrial structures, two-story Craftsman buildings and a Mid-century modern office.


Client: Urban Elements, Inc.
Contractor: RCP Construction
Civil Engineer: Cartwright Nor Cal
Structural Engineer: ATM Engineering
Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing Engineer: Engineering System Solutions