Mendocino Transit Authority Maintenance Facility

Mendocino Transit Authority Maintenance Facility

Ukiah, CA

A day in the life at the Mendocino Transit Authority Maintenance Facility involves more than transporting people via bus. These big and boxy vehicles need tender loving care of their own kind to maintain good working order.


The project’s industrial neighborhood adjacent to Highway 101 and on the southern outskirts of Ukiah, shares the Russian River valley with farmlands and vineyards, which are nestled between two pristine mountain ranges to East and West. Located at the southern tip of Ukiah, the site is an ideal location for the fleet of 70 Mendocino Transit Authority (MTA)  buses which connect a large and disparate series of communities.

The new building with its saw tooth roofline brings a freshness to the neighborhood of industrial buildings and rail yards with a sleek yet simple design.


When folks come to work at MTA they want a place that will help them do their job safely, efficiently and comfortably. Workers complained about their poorly lit and cramped existing facility, which was cold in the winter and hot in the summer. They now work in a comfortable environment with an efficient layout and plenty of good light at any time of day. A radiant floor heating system makes coming to work a welcome relief during the cold Ukiah winters. In the triple digit summers, a unique system of displacement ventilation keeps the place cool.


MTA representatives wanted durable, economical and easily maintained building materials. We took that a step further by thoughtfully combining a simple palette of natural materials, which add some pizzazz to a practical structure. Prefinished insulated metal panels are attached directly to the metal structure, a simple and cost-effective alternative to a traditional stud wall. The metal panels sit on a base of patterned concrete block walls that provide protection from vehicles. The north wall is constructed of hardwood “rainscreen” that references the local timber industry.


AIA Redwood Empire, Honor Award 2012


Client: Mendocino Transit Authority

Size: 17,500

Budget: $5.4 M

Completion: 2012