Fine Arts and Film Find a New Home at the University of California Berkeley

Addressing issues with the water table was another matter. “We basically created a very robust bathtub to house the below-level galleries,” Ballash describes. The “bathtub” began as a gravel layer with piping to convey any water away to be pumped offsite. Pre-applied sheet membrane waterproofing extends horizontally across the site and transitions up the walls. A 4-inch- thick concrete protection slab lays atop of the membrane. The final layer is a mat slab comprised of rebar and concrete ranging from 30-inches to 48-inches thick.

The administration building was suspended on impressive shoring during the construction of underground galleries. PHOTO: EHDD

The administration building was suspended on impressive shoring during the construction of underground galleries. PHOTO: EHDD

Metal Profile

DS+R’s design for the addition placed the 232-seat Barbro Osher Theater inside a stainless-steel shell that wraps over the top of the administration’s structure. At the north end of the site, the steel volume terminates with an exterior LED video screen that brings the building facade to life. “The exterior screen is on the backside of the theater’s interior screen, reflecting what’s happening inside,” Ballash notes. “This serves as a marquee for the museum and takes its mission outside to further activate Addison Street, which anchors downtown Berkeley’s performing arts district.”

The metal spine originates from the south, housing a cafe space that cantilevers over Center Street and showcases the building’s entrance. In addition to its eye- catching form, the draping stainless-steel assembly serves practical applications as an air and water barrier, as well as cladding that sheds water from the building. The metal assembly starts at the interior as a layer of sheet metal with studs on top. The crew placed insulation between the studs before adding another layer of sheet metal. A waterproof membrane covers these layers, which is finished with the stainless-steel cladding in a shingle-style installation.

The team brought Maplewood, Minn.-based MG McGrath Inc. contractors onto the project in the early stages as part of a design-assist process to construct the computer-generated metal form. Com- posed of 1,382 stainless-steel panels, complex curved geometry mandated that each panel be unique. The panels were prefabricated and numbered, then precisely fit together onsite.

“The theater building’s new metal construction nestles against the existing build- ings and provides a contrast and extension of the uses, bringing the three buildings together,” Ballash says. “Inside, the metal form becomes the internal circulation and the connecting spine of the project that pulls the theater, administration and galleries together as one project.”

The stainless-steel shell wraps over the top of the administration building’s structure. PHOTO: Iwan Baan

The stainless-steel shell wraps over the top of the administration building’s structure. PHOTO: Iwan Baan

BAMPFA strengthens the theme of integration with film viewing screens throughout the museum. In addition to the Barbro Osher Theater, a smaller theater holds 33 people for intimate screenings. The galleries are flexible, as well, serving as spaces for traditional displays, art research and performing arts.

Re-envisioned vintage buildings combined with a unique contemporary design and the ability to catch glimpses of what’s happening inside stimulate the interest of passersby and help BAMPFA further its mission to engage the larger community.

Retrofit Team

EXECUTIVE ARCHITECT, ARCHITECT OF RECORD: EHDD Architecture, San Francisco
DESIGN ARCHITECT: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Forell/ Elsesser Engineers, San Francisco
M/E/P ENGINEER: Stantec, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
FACADE AND WATERPROOFING CONSULTANT: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, San Francisco and Boston
SHORING ENGINEER: Degenkolb, San Francisco
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER: Plant Construction Co., San Francisco
STRUCTURAL STEEL ERECTOR: Glazier Steel, Hayward, Calif.
STRUCTURAL CONCRETE: Webcor Builders, Alameda, Calif.
STAINLESS STEEL INSTALLER: MG McGrath Inc., Maplewood, Minn.

Materials

CUSTOM STAINLESS STEEL: MG McGrath Inc.
CUSTOM STEEL MULLION GLAZING SYSTEM: Architectural Glass and Aluminum
ROOFING: Sika
WINDOWS (ADMINISTRATION BUILDING): Wausau Window and Wall Systems
GLAZING: RankerAMG
GLASS: Northwestern Industries
SKYLIGHTS (HORIZONTAL): Garibaldi Glass
CLERESTORY: Advanced Glazings
ENTRANCES: Dawson Doors
COILING DOOR: Barton Overhead Door Inc.
PAINTS AND STAINS: Sherwin-Williams
SOLID SURFACING: Corian
RESILIENT FLOORING: Dex-O-Tex (epoxy resinous)
SPECIAL INTERIOR FINISHES UNIQUE TO THIS PROJECT: Knauf Danoline (perforated GWB)
GALLERY LIGHTING: Litelab

About the Author

KJ Fields
KJ Fields writes about design, sustainability and health from Portland, Ore.

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