Award of Merit Winner, Higher Education/Research
The $70-million University of California, Berkeley law school project, completed in September 2011, included a 55,000-sq-ft library, with one level above grade and two below, and three phases of renovations to existing structures.
At grade, the new library has a centerpiece pavilion, framed by a terraced wall, sunlit courtyards and a rooftop garden, and contains a multipurpose classroom flanked by a café and student lounge.
Below grade, the library features two levels of reading and seminar rooms, offices, compact shelving, computer desks and a reference desk. Despite their subterranean location, those levels are daylighted through skylights up to the plaza; at night these floors become beacons.
The 49,000 sq ft of renovations included a new moot court room, conference rooms, meeting areas for student groups, offices and upgraded classrooms. A large glass volume connects the new structure with the old.
The project achieved LEED Gold for new construction and LEED Silver for commercial interiors. Its sustainable features include a water reclamation system for irrigation; drought-tolerant landscaping; sustainably harvested wood; and energy-efficient heating and cooling. The existing U-shaped building had to be underpinned and the courtyard excavated two floors down—all while teaching and seminars were going on above.
UC Berkeley School of Law South Addition
Owner: University of California, Berkeley
Contractor: Hunt Construction, San Francisco
Lead Design: Ratcliff, Emeryville
Submitted by Ratcliff