Tag Archives: Mario Ciampi

Berkeley Art Museum’s iconic home closes after 44 years

People attend closing day events at the Berkeley Art Museum in Berkeley, on Sunday, December 21, 2014. The museum is set to close to the public today at its current building and reopen in a new building downtown in 2016. Photo: David Yee
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On Sunday, hundreds of people swarmed through every nook and cranny, every cantilevered balcony and ramp, within the concrete hulk of the Berkeley Art Museum at 2626 Bancroft Way. They came to say goodbye to a building that has hosted innumerable highly regarded exhibitions over four decades, as well as art installations, fashionable events, and parties.

Built in 1970, and designed by architect Mario Ciampi during the brief reign of Brutalist architecture, the UC Berkeley-owned museum has as many detractors as fans. In his closing speech, BAM/PFA director Lawrence Rinder expressed both his fondness for the building and the occasional frustration of dealing with its constraints. The building has been deemed seismically unsound, and a brand new museum is being built in its stead. The new BAM/PFA, designed by New York’s Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is set to open in January 2016 on the site of a former Cal printing press in downtown Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Art museum chief: New space good for Town & Gown

Rinder cropped
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Yesterday, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive announced it had begun construction work on its new building in downtown Berkeley.

The UC Berkeley-owned museum has raised the lion’s share of the $100 million it needs to create a new home for itself on Center Street at Oxford, on the fringes of the Cal campus.

BAM/PFA is set to move from its current location on Bancroft Way into the new space, designed by New York architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in early 2016.

Berkeleyside caught up with BAM/PFA Director Lawrence Rinder to find out what the dramatic new building will mean for the museum and for the city of Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Work starts on new Berkeley Art Museum, to open in 2016

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Construction work has begun on the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive which, all things going well, is slated to open in the summer of 2016, bringing bold contemporary architecture into the heart of Berkeley.

The UC Berkeley-owned museum, which includes the Pacific Film Theater, has raised $95 million worth of pledges towards the $100 million goal it needed to create a new home on Center St. at Oxford, the site of a former printing plant owned by the university. The new BAM/PFA is to be designed by New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, architects of New York’s High Line and several museums, including the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C.

BAM/PFA has been planning to move since 1997 when it was determined that its current building on Bancroft Way — built in 1970 and designed by Mario Ciampi — did not meet present-day seismic standards. It cannot be upgraded without eliminating open exhibition spaces required for the galleries.  … Continue reading »

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