Panel Discussion: Thorsen Restoration Project Course at UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by AIA East Bay

Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Location: AIASF, 130 Sutter Street
AIA and Students Free, $10 General Admission Register Here

1.5 CES LUs

This panel is comprised of the leaders of the student-facilitated Thorsen Restoration Project course at UC Berkeley. As featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Thorsen House, built in 1909, is the last Greene and Greene arts and crafts style “ultimate bungalow” and the only one in Northern California. It is currently owned and maintained by the Sigma Phi Society and was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1978. The course aims to connect the architecture department with the residents of the Thorsen House and associated organizations to facilitate research, collaboration, and construction regarding preservation and restoration. Currently, the students are navigating through a project that restores a historic fence and adds a gate and ramp that would make the house ADA accessible for the first time.

Please bring a brown bag lunch.

About the Presenters:

Bilquis Ayar is a recent grad with a B.A. in Architecture from UC Berkeley. She has spent the past year working with students, professionals, and advisors planning and teaching the Thorsen Restoration Class, through UC Berkeley’s democratic education program. While continuing to work on the class, she is currently a Contractor Assistant aiding with visual inspections and implementing new marketing strategies. Her interests include traveling and living in different parts of the world while finding a place to swim at every stop. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lauren Aguilar is a senior at UC Berkeley originally from Murrieta, CA studying Architecture and American Studies.When she isn’t in class, she interns at McCall Design Group in San Francisco. Alongside other students, professionals, and advisors she has spent the past year planning and teaching a class that conducts restoration on the Thorsen House, through UC Berkeley’s democratic education program. She plans to continue facilitating the course and finish the proposed project in the 2015 school year.

George Syrop is pursuing a degree in political science at UC Berkeley and works part-time at Berkeley’s newspaper, The Daily Californian, as its Managing Publisher. George joined the Sigma Phi Society, which resides in the Thorsen House, during his sophomore year and is the outgoing President. Brothers of the Sigma Phi Society are required to learn the architectural history and details of the Thorsen House as part of the pledge process, and work each week to maintain and restore the national historic place to its former glory.

Learning Objectives

  1. Address solutions that address and reconcile the historic construction methods with new technologies, standards, and uses while maintaining historic integrity
  2. Explore different ways to communicate and build relationships with your team and the broad audience that accompanies a project with historic merit
  3. Discuss the process and pedagogy behind the class and on preservation projects as a whole
  4. Explore Greene & Greene architecture, discuss materials used, and the process by which the house was built and then maintained.

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