Category Archives: Architecture
Neighbors to a proposed new UC Berkeley building say its modern design, and the need to remove several trees in the area in order to build it, are threats to the aesthetic and value of the historic Northside neighborhood. And the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA) agrees.
The Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, a new College of Engineering design facility, is set to replace the volleyball court at Le Roy Avenue and Ridge Road. The 20,000 gross sq ft building, funded by a $20 million gift from the Paul and Stacey Jacobs Foundation, will have three stories, with the first story being partially underground.
BAHA sent a letter to UC Berkeley in October objecting to the proposed building’s “alienating institutional look,” and suggested the planners consider a design that bears more “relation to the surrounding historic resources.” … Continue reading »
Last month, the American Institute of Architects awarded its highest honor, a Gold Medal, to architect Julia Morgan — 56 years after she had died. She is the first woman to ever be given the award.
Morgan, who practiced for 50 years and designed more than 700 buildings, studied civil engineering at UC Berkeley and caught the eye of the architect Bernard Maybeck, who taught there. After graduating from the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, Morgan returned to Berkeley where she went to work for John Galen Howard. That was the beginning of a long history of designing structures in Berkeley. Her name was in the news just last week when a building she designed on the Cal campus, Girton Hall, was relocated to the UC Botanical Garden.
Sandhya Sood, AIA, has a Masters in Architecture from UC Berkeley and is Principal of Accent Architecture + Design in Berkeley. Her research on the sustainability of Morgan’s work contributed to the success of Julia Morgan’s AIA Gold Medal 2014 nomination. Berkeleyside invited her to share her thoughts on Morgan’s work and influence: … Continue reading »
On Saturday and Sunday a beautiful, landmarked UC Berkeley-owned building will move across town, inching its way slowly from campus on a flat-bed rig up Centennial Drive to its new home at the UC Botanical Garden in Strawberry Canyon.
The complex relocation will conclude this weekend, with one large oversized section of the structure being transported on Saturday, and the other starting at around 6:00 a.m. on Sunday Jan. 12. The final piece, currently resting on Maxwell Field, will be moved around noon on Sunday. … Continue reading »
A Carmel-based developer and UC Berkeley graduate will submit plans to Berkeley tomorrow to construct a 16-story, 180-foot tall hotel with office space, meeting rooms, and retail space at the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Center Street.
The new complex, proposed by Jim Didion and Center Street Partners LLC, will replace the 1970s-era one-story Bank of America building and parking lot, and, if approved, transform one of the most visible corners in downtown Berkeley. … Continue reading »
When the new West Branch of the Berkeley Public Library opens on Saturday Dec. 14, officials hope that it not only becomes a place for people to take out books, but a community center that allows people to collaborate and build their businesses.
The new 9,300 square foot, $7.5 million structure at 1125 University Ave. (at San Pablo) — first net-zero library in California – will have the largest community meeting room in the branch system. It can hold up to 100 people and it can be configured for video conferences and computer coding, as well as for meetings. There are numerous electrical outlets near the tables to accommodate laptops (which are also available for use) and a long counter that faces out onto the small garden holding a newly planted cork oak tree.
“It’s really not a traditional community reading room but an extension of the library,” said Library Director Donna Corbeil as she pointed to the glass wall that separates the meeting room from the rest of the building. … Continue reading »
A fresh twist on an artfully crafted contemporary home by a Berkeley architecture firm, and a sensitive updating of a historically significant home in our city by another Berkeley architect known for his dramatic modern designs: the result is two stunning homes that are open to the public, with four others, on Saturday, August 10, as part of the American Institute of Architects’ East Bay Home Tour.
It’s the third East Bay tour for the AIA and the theme this year is “Listening to the Past, Designing for the Present.” The six homes on show — one in Berkeley, three in Oakland and two in Lafayette – highlight historic remodels, airy modern houses, sustainable ideas and clever solutions.
Berkeley firm Leger-Wanaselja Architecture were asked to update a home they had built in the hills after the 1991 Oakland firestorm, when it was bought by a new owner who had previously lived in a downtown loft. The architects used exposed wood, steel and concrete give the house a raw, loft-like feel, and created a genuine indoor-outdoor setting through, among other things, a wall of roll-up garage doors. The home, referred to as the Roll-Up House, also has a host of eco-conscious aspects. … Continue reading »
“Shingle Style: Living in San Francisco’s Brown Shingles,” (Rizzoli, 2013), is a new book by Bay Area architects Lucia Howard and David Weingarten, with photographs by David Duncan Livingston. The book showcases 20 Bay Area homes that epitomize the classic brown shingle style and, despite its title, 12 of those homes are in Berkeley.
On Thursday, Aug. 8 at 7 p.m., Howard will host an illustrated lecture on Berkeley’s brown shingle homes at the Anna Head Alumnae Hall at 2537 Haste St., in collaboration with the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association.
Berkeleyside caught up with Lucia Howard to ask her about the book and the beautiful homes it features.
A good number of the homes you feature in your book are in Berkeley. What was it about Berkeley that led to so many brown shingles being built here?
Berkeley was the epicenter of brown shingle architecture. The town’s vibrant mix of professors, writers, artists and free-thinkers drawn together around the University, many of whom pursued what Charles Keeler termed “The Artistic Life,” provided ideal clients for these houses. Built before the silver screen came along to define entertainment, brown shingles were a species of “party house,” designed for people to gather for performances, readings, worship, and events of many sorts. … Continue reading »
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan joined Safeway officials and neighborhood activists Monday to celebrate the official groundbreaking for a new store at the intersection of College and Claremont avenues.
After a few hellos and speeches, everyone got down to the main event: watching two huge bulldozers start to tear down the 49-year-old structure.
“Right now we have a store to knock down so let’s get some sledgehammers and get going,” Todd Paradis, Safeway’s real estate manager, said to the two dozen people assembled. … Continue reading »
After spending almost a week sleeping in tents pitched on the steps of the Main Post Office on Allston Way, federal authorities have asked protesters to leave.
A group of postal inspectors and postal police met with protesters Friday and asked them to disperse, according to the Contra Costa Times. But those camping out said they have no intention of leaving. In fact, they are settled in, even bringing in a wide screen to entertain themselves at night.
The USPS plans to sell the historic building at 2000 Allston Way and open a smaller facility somewhere else downtown. The Berkeley City Council, many members of the Legislature, and preservationists are trying to block the sale. … Continue reading »
After a group of 100 people rallied Saturday to protest the federal government’s plans to sell Berkeley’s main post office, a group of about 15 people set up tents on the steps of the building at 2000 Allston Way. They camped there overnight.
Property owners, tenants, and city officials gathered Thursday to discuss a proposed ordinance that would require seismic retrofitting of more than 150 residential buildings with soft, weak or open-front conditions, also called soft-story buildings, which are highly at risk of collapsing in strong earthquakes.
But property owners argued at the meeting that “a host of roadblocks” discourages those who want to retrofit their soft-story buildings.
Berkeley Built is an occasional series in which Berkeley’s David Stark Wilson of WA Design takes a look at a notable Berkeley structure or building.
I’ve always been a fan of Maybeck’s work and this building is no exception. These images show the interior and exterior street entrance of a home Maybeck designed for J.H. Senger, a professor of German language at UC Berkeley.
The exterior of the home is a mixture of brown shingle and the medieval half-timbering seen in these images. Maybeck is remarkably playful in his use of different window motifs all tightly composed in this one façade. The original bright blue of the front door and the stenciling further demonstrate Maybeck’s often whimsical approach. … Continue reading »