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Posts tagged ‘Berkeley’

Design on Tap: A Drinking Tour

Hosted by the Young Architects Forum & the Design Tours Committee

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Beginning location: Comal, 2020 Shattuck, Berkeley
$5 AIA Members & employees of Chapter Member Firms/$10 Non-members
Space is limited; click here to register.


Studio KDA kicks off our first Design on Tap event, leading a tour of three popular Berkeley restaurants…with great bars! We’ll learn about the design of Comal, Tender Greens & Makers Common while enjoying small bites and no-host drinks. Space is limited and refunds not provided.

About the Speakers:

Marites Abueg, principal, Studio KDA. A licensed architect, Marites designed her first restaurant,  A Cote, in 2000  (with Mark Becker Inc.) and was hooked on restaurant design’s perfect combination of food, communal gathering and sensory experience.  Since then, she and husband Keith Morris formed Abueg Morris Architects designing over 40 food-related projects before combining forces with Charles Kahn, AIA to create Studio KDA. Marites is design obsessed and focuses her work on beautiful and balanced lighting, conversation-allowing acoustics, “right” color, ergonomics, and brand-supportive look, feel and fit.

Building Berkeley: Bernard Maybeck, John Galen Howard, Julia Morgan and the UC Berkeley Campus

A Berkeley City Club Program

Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Location: Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley

$5 City Club Members / $10 Nonmembers
Click here to register.

We invite you to a wonderful Arts & Culture talk co-sponsored by the Berkeley City Club and The Berkeley City Club Conservancy. Margaretta Lovell, Professor of the History of Art, will be speaking about Bernard Maybeck, John Galen Howard, Julia Morgan and the UC Berkeley Campus.

Julia’s Lounge on the 2nd floor serves beer, wine & cocktails beginning at 4:30pm if you opt to come early and relax before the talk.

berkeley city club

Women Speak: Four Architects on Design and Urbanism

The Berkeley City Club Conservancy presents a lecture series featuring four Bay Area architects, who’s work promotes sustainability, historic revitalization and urban planning.


WeWork Berkeley: Project Profile

Project Team: Alexander Jermyn, Sarah Ebner, Jonathan Cotté
Architect: Alexander Jermyn Architecture
Consulting Engineer: ARUP
Contractor: Merged Builders
Photography: Chris Stark Photography and Wework

WeWork is one of the largest co-working providers in the United States. With over 69 locations in 21 cities, it targets growing business communities in the technology and professional sector. Anticipating growth in the East Bay, WeWork secured a lease for 40,000 SF in Berkeley adjacent to the UC Campus.

wework6Our firm was hired to adapt their design model to the building context, navigate the permit process, and manage construction administration – all within 5 months. The project team was principally based in New York, so online collaboration was indispensable. To ensure design consistency through construction, WeWork selected a New York based general contractor to manage the project. Consequently, much of the labor and materials originated from New York and were shipped to California. This type of outsourcing did not come without its challenges. Close coordination between
the design team and the builders was essential as the construction crews were not familiar with local codes.

wework4 The 40,000 SF renovation involved work on all seven stories of an existing building. The project provides a new entry from the street, expansive views to the Bay, a diverse mix of glass walled offices, vibrantly colored conference rooms and lively commons spaces for networking, eating and drinking. Community is the catalyst that drives the layout of the shared spaces. Offices house between one and 15 occupants depending on the size of the company. The use of transparent walls mitigates the compactness of the work space, while the generous communal spaces invite members to convene, work and socialize. To revitalize the exterior, WeWork commissioned artist Jason Woodside to paint murals on two of the facades. New full-height glazing and a ramp at the entry provide aluminous, inviting lobby for the WeWorkers and their guests.

wework5wework3 wework2


Design Tour: Berkeley Art Museum

Monday, November 30, 2015
Meeting location to be distributed on Wednesday, November 24
Cost: $5 AIA Members; $15 Guests
Sorry, this tour is sold out.


AIA East Bay is pleased to announce a special design tour of the new Berkeley Art Museum designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. This will be a pre-installation tour (the Museum opens in January 2016) led by campus architect Emily Marthinson, AIA and Brian Main, Director-Construction and Design.

Totaling 83,000 square feet, the new BAM/PFA combines serene spaces for viewing art and film with public areas that will inspire you with their fresh, imaginative design. Forward-looking and versatile, the project integrates a repurposed building—the former UC Berkeley printing plant, at the corner of Oxford and Center Streets—with a dramatic new structure.

Berkeley City Ordinance on Balconies

Kerwin Lee, AIA, CASp ICC Certified-Accessibility Inspector and Plan Examiner ICC - Certified Building Plan Examiner

Kerwin Lee, AIA, CASp ICC Certified-Accessibility Inspector and Plan Examiner
ICC – Certified Building Plan Examiner

The City Council of Berkeley approved an ordinance on July 15th in response to the recent balcony collapse. Part of the ordinance is a vigorous inspection program requiring all balconies in R-1/hotels and transient lodging and R-2/multi-family dwellings be inspected within 6-months of the passage of the ordinance. In addition all of these balconies need to be inspected every 3 years. It was estimated that 6,000 letters were sent to building owners in this category. This program does not include single family residences or R-3.

The City is currently dealing with the implementation: this would include who can do the inspection(s), what needs to be looked at, if any destructive demolition needs to be done, and trigger points for repairs and affects on associated building elements, such as guards and handrails. Guidelines for this will be issued by the City through the Building Department.

One of the remedies is the addition of a new Section 1203.6 to the 2013 California Building Code, for requiring ventilation of weather enclosed exterior assemblies. The code currently does not address/require or is silent on the issue of ventilation for enclosed balconies or other types of projections. Ventilation is generally associated with moisture with condensation related to a temperature difference between spaces. Although the code addresses keeping moisture (weather protection) out of these areas, the basic assumption of the new section is that if there is moisture within these assembles the ventilation will help mitigate the problem. The addition of ventilation will also provide visual opportunity to inspect the enclosed or sealed off areas more easily. The alternative is to provide access panels or performing destructive demolition for inspection and repairs. So the venting in the ordinance is different from venting in the current code.

The addition of the vents may address one issue, but may also create another issue related to fire protec-tion of the structure. All new R-1 and R-2 structures are required to be fire resistive in design, Type A con-struction. This would include projections, decks and balconies. Projections are considered floor or floor/roof assemblies and required to have the same fire resistance as the rest of the building. By adding all of these vents, which is required in the ordinance to be a minimum 1/150th of the area of the space ventilated, this may compromise the fire resistance integrity of the balcony. For an 8 x 10 foot deck, a min-imum of about 77 square inches of venting is required. This is potentially a lot of unprotected openings. The City ordinance did not address this issue and the code’s vague in requiring the integrity of a balcony construction with openings.

It is my opinion that this needs to be addressed whether as a non-concern or through alternative means to meet the intent of the code for fire protection. I am less concerned about a single balcony serving an individual dwelling unit. If there is a fire below, I doubt anyone would be standing on the balcony above. What I am concerned about are the exterior egress balconies where the balcony serves as a required means of egress for the occupants of the building. A fire on a floor below could have an adverse affect on the exiting above. A solution is to require sprinkler protection over a covered balcony. Most, if not all, R1 and R2’s buildings are sprinkler protected. The effectiveness of an exterior sprinkler is always in question, but this would be a compromise. Section 1406.3 requires balconies to have the same fire resistive construction as the remainder of the building, but Exception 3 of this section does permit the use of sprinklers in lieu of the rated construction.

Only time will tell if the ordinance will make a difference. We are all hopeful that another incident like this will never happen again. Even with these requirements in the ordinance, there are no guarentees for the elimination of risk or eliminating the risk completely. This is what the code is all about, a public con-sensus approach that balances risk and safety.

(As Steve Winkel, FAIA serves on the California Building Standards Commission he’s taking this month off from ArchNews to ensure there’s no conflict of interest.)

Design Tour: Lower Sproul Redevelopment Project

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Location: Martin Luther King Student Union on the 2nd Floor (Upper Sproul Level.)
Cost: $5 AIA Members and Employees of AIA East Bay Member Firms; $10 Guests
Click here to Register. Space is Limited!

1.5 CES LUs

Join AIA East Bay for a tour of the Lower Sproul Redevelopment project led by Beth Piatnitza, Associate Director Planning, Real Estate Division, University of California and Teri Mathers, UC Berkeley Senior Project Manager. The tour will show how revitalized the area has become with new restaurants, bars and more. The program includes a number of different projects as well as improvements to the plaza. It will house the MLK Jr. Student Union which has been upgraded with the addition of new spaces.

Lower Sproul Redevelopment Project

The Lower Sproul complex was designed in the early 1960’s as a modernist urban center and an expression of its time. It is located at the south edge of campus adjoining a commercial district and although it is bordered by the formal promenade of Sproul plaza, it is separate and distinct from the classical core at the center of the campus. It is comprised of four buildings that surround a large, paved plaza that is also the roof of the parking garage below.

Over the past half century, as a result of changes in the size and character of the student body, transformative advances in instruction and technology, a lack of capital reinvestment and, most importantly, the identification of critical seismic deficiencies, the complex had become an anachronism that no longer met the needs of UC Berkeley students.

The Lower Sproul Redevelopment Project is a student based initiative that calls for recasting the existing facilities at Lower Sproul Plaza into a revitalized and state-of-the-art facility combining both new construction and adaptive reuse strategies. Led by architects Moore Rubel Yudell, the project program and design is rooted in sustainable practices. The project encompasses a site area of approximately 184,000 sf and includes a replacement to the existing Eshleman Hall, renovations and additions to Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, the plaza deck itself, and minor renovations to Cesar Chavez Student Center and Anthony Hall.

Learning Objectives:

1. Attendees will be able to describe three elements key to the master planning success.

2. Attendees will be able to identify changes to existing buildings.

3. Attendees will be able to state at least three features of the redevelopment’s sustainability program.

4. Attendees will be able to state improvements and benefits the redevelopment will have on the quality of student life.

Resilience Planning in Action: A Conversation with Berkeley’s Chief Resilience Officer

Thursday, September 10, 2015
Free and open to all; bring a lunch!

1.5 CES LUs

Timothy Burroughs, Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) for the City of Berkeley, is the city’s lead staff for advancing community readiness for a range of hazards, such as natural disasters and the impacts of climate change. Previously Timothy led development and managed implementation of Berkeley’s ambitious Climate Action Plan.

His discussion will frame the concept of community resilience, which is a widely used term but has many different definitions. Timothy will define resilience from the perspective of a city government practitioner and policy maker. He will give examples of what resilience looks like on the ground and of how Berkeley and other cities are working to advance community resilience right now.

The City of Berkeley is one of the Bay Area cities participating in the 100 Resilient Cities program, which is helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will be able to state three aspects of resiliency from a government’s perspective.
  2. Attendees will be able to identify three areas that are determined to be resiliency improvement areas for Berkeley.
  3. Attendees will be able to state what the 100RC program is.
  4. Attendees will be able to state three ways in which architects and design professionals can assist their communities become more resilient.

The Future of Elevated Exterior Walking Surfaces

A Professional Practice Forum

Thursday, September 17, 2015
Free, all are welcome. Bring a lunch!
Please RSVP for room setup.

1.5 CES LUs

Please join our September roundtable discussion on a timely and regional topic: the recent building ordinances passed by the City of Berkeley.

In the wake of the recent fatal balcony collapse, the City of Berkeley has made several changes to the Building and Housing Codes with respect to requirements for wood-framed and metal-framed elevated exterior walking surfaces (e.g., balconies, decks, and exterior exit corridors) in R1 and R2 occupancies. We will review these changes and their anticipated effect on existing and new buildings in Berkeley.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will be able to explain the basics of Berkeley’s emergency ordinance.
  2. Attendees will be able to identify two areas of weakness in the ordinance.
  3. Attendees will be able to explain one building code change currently under discussion in Berkeley.
  4. Attendees will be able to explain at least one possible way an exterior elevated walking surface can fail due to water intrusion.

Emerging Professionals Monthly Mixer

an Emerging Professionals Event

Monday, September 15, 2014 6-7:30pm

Location: ELS Architecture and Urban Design

2040 Addison Street Berkeley, CA 94704

Free and Open to all Emerging Professionals (students, recent graduates, interns/design professionals, and recently licensed architects).  Join the emerging professionals of the East Bay for a firm Open House hosted by ELS Architecture and Urban Design at their office in Berkeley. Representatives from the firm will present recent work and discuss their firm culture, etc. ELS is known for their award-winning public places such as Walnut Creek’s Splash Swim School, The Ward Village Shops in Honolulu, and the East Oakland Sports Center.

East Oakland Sports Center, ELS Architecture and Urban Design

Refreshments and appetizers will be served. Spaces will be limited so please RSVP by emailing!