Berkeley Art Museum


Date:
1970
Neighborhood:
University of California
Building Type:
Institutional
Address:
2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA
Current Name:
Berkeley Art Museum
Current Use:
Vacant
Current Condition:
Altered
Status:
Listed
Founded in 1963, Berkeley Art Museum is one of the largest university art museums in the country.   In 1964, a competition was held for the design of a new museum building and the commission  was awarded to Mario Ciampi and Associates.  The selection jury declared, “The richness of this building will arise from the sculptural beauty of its rugged major forms and will not require costly materials or elaborate details. We believe this design . . . can become one of the outstanding contributions to museum design in our time.”  The distinctive Modernist design, a 101,000-square-foot reinforced concrete building, houses the museum’s 16,000 objects but no longer meets seismic standards, a particularly challenging problem for an open gallery and exhibition space that eschews adding support walls.  The building was slated for demolition in 2005, despite Ciampi’s recommendations for addressing the seismic issues.   A new museum building is being developed for downtown Berkeley, and the Ciampi building officially closed its doors in 2014. Although currently vacant, the Berkeley Art Museum is a City of Berkeley Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. No plans for a new occupant of the building have been announced.

Sources:
http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/about/mission

http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/University_Art_Museum.html

http://blog.dwr.com/designnotes/2010/03/brutal-love.html

Image Credits:
Exterior shot.  Photographer - Steven Addis

Interior shot.  Photographer - Joe Fletche

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Contact:

DOCOMOMO US/Northern California

P.O. Box 29226
San Francisco, CA 94129-0226

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