The bunker-like building on Bancroft Way that has sat empty for four years, ever since BAMPFA left for shiny new digs downtown, may one day be a life sciences hub.
BAMPFA’s new building is an absolute winner. The 82,000-square-foot home catapults Berkeley’s visual art scene into prominence — comparable to many larger, richer and better established West Coast institutions. It handsomely repurposes the former 1930s WPA UC printing plant building. Affixed to it is a brightly clad steel tube-like section that houses the new 232-seat Barbro Osher Theater, where films from its impressive archive of over 300,000 items will be regularly screened. There is also a 33-seat screening room and two film viewing booths available by appointment.
The countdown is nearly over. The new home of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, plum in the heart of downtown Berkeley, will throw open its doors to the public with a big open house on Sunday, Jan. 31, starting at 11 a.m.
By Kathleen Maclay / Berkeley News
The staff moved in to their offices in September, planning for its inaugural exhibition is well underway, and construction is almost complete on the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), which is set to open in January 2016.
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.
Thursday evening, community members turned out in droves to sign the final steel beam for Berkeley’s new art museum before it was lifted high into the air by a crane and set in place.
Seven Canary Island pine trees that were cut down in order to allow construction of the new Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive in downtown Berkeley were salvaged and will be used for several interior elements of the new museum, its director, Lawrence Rinder, revealed last week.
“It’s been a long hard road. Standing here today I feel both relief and excitement,” Lawrence Rinder, Director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive said, speaking on Tuesday in the shell of a building that will one day be a gleaming new cultural center in the heart of downtown Berkeley.
Major demolition is under way in downtown Berkeley on the site of the new location for the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.
Yesterday, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive announced it had begun construction work on its new building in downtown Berkeley.
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.
By Preeti Talwai