Photo ©Tim Griffith
Memorial Stadium at the University of California, Berkeley was a place for students, alumni, faculty and the public toâ¨ come together and celebrate athletic competition. The historic stadium is one of the most beloved and iconic structures on campus; however, decades of deferred maintenance and poor planning diminished its functionality and significance. Key goals were to restore the stadium’s historic and civic prominence, integrate modern training and amenity spaces, and address severe seismic concerns.
The jury said “ . . . impact was enormous, took great care in retaining historic fabric . . . clear statement that colleges can restore historic fabric. . . example of giving back . . .”
This project was part of the Southeast Campus Integrated Projects Master Plan to create a strong link and connectivity among project components, reinforce synergy with the program, shared use between facilities and improved site design.
The project was a delicate historic preservation, an addition of major new construction, and a major seismic retrofit. The structure of the stadium was removed and the historic facade was preserved using a temporary bracing system. Special structural systems were used to allow the two halves of the bowl to move separately during a seismic event.
By setting the new Simpson Center athlete training facility into the landscape and in front of the stadium as a “land form” building, a new 2-acre public plaza was created on the roof. This also freed up space and volume within the stadium. The expanded concourse and addition of three club levels for donors and alumni provide highly desired fan amenity spaces, and offer views into the bowl and out across campus and the Bay. The amenity spaces are also a key revenue source for the new facility.
The stadium is highly visible from many points around campus, the City of Berkeley, and at a distance, the Bay Area.
“The design result is stunningly simple to behold retaining its iconic status on the eastern edge of campus. The buildings represent a transformational achievement and the best in preserving and celebrating the significant value of the historic resource,” says Rob Gayle, associate vice chancellor – capital projects, University of California, Berkeley.Project Team: University of California, Berkeley for California Memorial Stadium & The Simpson Center with HNTB Architecture + STUDIOS Architecture; also Webcor Builders; Olin Partnership; Bellecci & Associates, Inc.; Forell/Elsesser Engineers, Inc.; WSP Flack+Kurtz; Knapp Architects; Horton Lees Brogden; WJHW; Lloyd Engineering; Debra Nichols Design; The Fire Consultants, Inc.; Dewhurst Macfarlane