Berkeley Art Museum seeks architect, again

Following its decision to move into the former University of California printing plant at Center and Oxford streets in downtown Berkeley (pictured top right), the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive is looking for an architecture firm to revamp the space for them.

According to John King  in today’s Chronicle, ten architectural firms have submitted initial proposals and the museum hopes to narrow the list to three and name its designer in June.

BAM/PFA selected architect Toyo Ito to design a new building for them in 2006. The Japanese architect came up with an “abstract egg crate with thin steel walls” (pictured top left) — which King describes as “seductive” but prohibitively expensive. The funding did not materialize for the project, after which the museum and Ito went their separate ways.

The museum’s director Larry Rinder isn’t making any predictions on an opening date except to say it may be late 2014.