Celebrating the contemporary face of Berkeley

Six contemporary Berkeley buildings have been highlighted as demonstrating superior architectural style — “gems that have enriched Berkeley and its residents” — and several Berkeley architects can take a bow for having designed them.

Berkeley Bowl West by Kava Massih Architects

The Berkeley Design Advocates held their ninth biennial architecture awards yesterday at the Ed Roberts Campus — itself a new addition to Berkeley’s architectural landscape. Designed by San Francisco-based Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects and due to open soon, it was one of the night’s designated winners.

Also accepting an award was Berkeley architect Kava Massih for West Berkeley Bowl, one of the city’s most popular destinations since its opening last year.

The Read Building by Trachenberg Architects

The other winners were The Read Building on Fourth Street by Berkeley’s Trachtenberg Architects; Robinson Real Estate, which was described as “a nifty rehab of a retail box” on Shattuck Avenue by Hyer Architecture; Oxford Plaza by Daniel Solomon Design Partners; and Amanda’s Feel Good Fresh Restaurant, an interior created by Valerio Architects.


John King, urban design writer for the San Francisco Chronicle and a Berkeley resident, said he was heartened by the awards. “Living in Berkeley it’s easy just to see the chunky, uninspiring stuff. All these projects are distinctive in different ways. They are thoughtful responses to the urban context — which is as important as all the pizzazz about style and architecture.”

Robinson Real Estate office by Hyer Architecture

Berkeley Design Advocates is a group of architects, engineers and planners which aims to honor outstanding additions to the built environment in Berkeley.

“We believe in building things – and these awards represent those icons that demonstrate change can be good. Good design and outstanding craftsmanship serve not only the owners, but also the community and society at large,” said Anthony Bruzzone, BDA’s President.

This year’s awards were made to honor the memory and life work of local architect Barry Elbasani who, with Donn Logan and Michael Severin, founded ELS Design Group in Berkeley in 1967. Elbasani died earlier this year.