UC Berkeley, Berkeley Way Academic Office Building
Located in the dense, bustling heart of Berkeley, this new, 325,000 gross square foot, interdisciplinary building houses UC Berkeley’s Psychology, Global Health, and Education departments.
The three different departments must each be equally represented, with their particular identities integrated into the architecture and highly visible to visitors. In response, we introduced a multi-level atrium that connects the building vertically, provides a communal environment, and makes evident each department’s identity as part of the fabric of the interior space. The culture of each department (who they are and how they work) is expressed by exposing collaborative, public program elements (meeting spaces, certain offices, and learning environments) to the atrium. The floor plates are organized so that public and semi public functions occur closer to the atrium while private functions move to the building perimeter.
The site encompasses an existing parking lot, and is located directly west of the Energy & Biosciences Building. Bordered by Shattuck Avenue to the west, Hearst Street to the north, and Berkeley Way to the south, the tight urban site necessitates a creative, critical approach to positioning the building so space is optimized.