Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Oakland, California

Enrollment in the MBA program is up 45 percent from three years ago ' growth that the client attributes to the new building's visibility.

Red tile roofs and stucco facades dominate the leafy grounds of Mills College, in Oakland. But for the new home of its now-10-year-old MBA program, the women’s liberal arts college and coeducational graduate institution asked architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ) to depart from the campus’s characteristic Spanish Revival style.

The firm responded with a decidedly modern building made of crisp volumes clad in stone, zinc, and glass. Completed in the fall of 2009, the Graduate School of Business houses classrooms, faculty offices, and areas for collaboration and impromptu meetings. The largest of these interactive zones is the double-story lobby, which opens to a covered linear porch and a lawn defined by the building’s L-shaped plan. These indoor and outdoor spaces function like a campus “living room,” says Greg Mottola, a BCJ principal.

A vegetated roof visible from the second floor is the most readily identifiable green feature, but the LEED Gold–certified building deploys several other tightly coordinated sustainable strategies, including daylighting, rainwater harvesting, and natural ventilation. These systems help maintain a comfortable learning environment and conserve resources and money, confirming the business school’s commitment to “people, planet, and profit,” or the so-called “triple bottom line,” explains Rosa Sheng, BCJ’s project manager.

Enrollment in the MBA program is up 45 percent from three years ago — growth that the client attributes to the new building’s visibility. The project has also proved to be an important faculty-recruitment tool. In fact, it was one reason Deborah Merrill-Sands elected to join the business school as dean this past fall. The facility, says Merrill-Sands, “demonstrates a dedication to advancing women of all backgrounds and to socially responsible business.”

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
49 Geary Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA  94108
(415) 989-2100[p]  (415) 989-2101[f]

Oakland, California

Completion Date:
August 15, 2009

Total construction cost: $21.4 million

Gross square footage:
28,000 sq.ft.


Owner: Mills College

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
49 Geary Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA  94108
(415) 989-2100[p]  (415) 989-2101[f]

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Peter Q. Bohlin, FAIA, Principal for Design
Gregory R. Mottola, AIA, Principal in Charge
Rosa Sheng, AIA, LEED AP, Project Manager
Gavin Ross, Team Member
Aaron Gomez, Team Member
Shawn Wood, Team Member
Yung Chang, Team Member

Structural Engineer: Rutherford & Chekene

M/E/P Engineer: Integral Group

Civil Engineer: BKF

Landscape:Lutsko Associates

Lighting: Lighting Designer: Silverman & Light

Acoustical: Acoustical Design Consultant, Charles M. Salter Associates, Inc.

Construction Manager: Magdalena Ryor, Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction

Telecommunications Engineer:  TeeCom

Fire Protection Contractor: Hughes Associates, Inc.

SystemsFurniture Consultant: POM Resource Group

General contractor: DPR Construction Inc. - Redwood City

Photographer(s):  Nic Lehoux Photography Ltd phone: (604) 874-0918



Structural system
Steel and Metal deck

Buckling Restrained Braces: Star Seismic, Wildcat BRB’s

Exposed truss fittings: TriPyramid stainless steel rod & clevis fittings

Glue laminated beams: Wood Tech Services

Exterior cladding
Masonry: Truffer Vals/Quarra Stone Vals Quartzite

Metal Panels: Zinc- Rheinzink / Ettel + Franz

Metal/glass curtain wall: Kawneer

Precast concrete: lobby stair precast concrete treads – Best Concrete

Wood: ship-lap Douglas Fir soffit cladding
Underside of Wood Porch: 9-Wood panelized linear Douglas Fir ceiling w/ Twitchell Super Screen

EIFS, ACM, or other: exterior Portland cement plaster (stucco) - LaHabra/BMI

Moisture barrier: Grace/Vapro Shield

Low-slope roofing: Johns Manville- 4 Ply built up Asphalt w/ GlasKap top layer white coating
Slope Roof: VM Zinc standing-seam

Flashing/ Accessories: VM Zinc

Greenroof: Hydrotech

Metal frame: Kawneer

Glass: Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope

Skylights: Acralight

Acoustic glazing: Maine Glass

Fire-Rated Glazing: AFG Industries- Pyrobel;  Pilkington- Pyrostop

Doors: Eggars

Locksets: Schlage/Minton

Closers: LCN/Rixon

Exit devices: Von Duprin

Pulls: Ives/Forms & Surfaces

Security devices: Ives/Schlage

Other special hardware: National Guard Products (NGP)/Adams Rite/Hafele

Interior finishes
Acoustical ceilings: USG Mars /Halcyon ClimaPlus

Suspension grid: USG Fineline DXF

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
Richlite – Counters
Shekta Stone – Wet area counters
Palmwood Plyboard

Paints and stains: Sherwin Williams

Fabric wall coverings:
Knoll- Foundation/Maharam-Milestone

Stretched fabric panel/wall assembly: Acoustic Interiors Inc

Paneling: laminated maple

Special surfacing: Concrete (poured in place and polished by contractor)

Floor and wall tile: Daltile (restrooms)

Resilient flooring: Forbo Marmoleum

Carpet: Tandus

Office furniture: Haworth

Reclaimed Montezuma Cypress tree for interior and exterior furnishings: Joinery Structures

Chairs: IFC Group- Campus Chair; Herman Miller- Aeron

Tables: Nevin- Folding w/ Castors

Couches: Bombast

Others: Herman Miller- Eames Aluminum Group; Bludot – Stella Lounge Chair

Interior ambient lighting: Columbia- Stratus; Halo- Synchro

Downlights: Kramer- Compact Florescent

Task lighting: Pablo Pardo- Brazo

Exterior: Bega

Dimming System or other lighting controls: Lutron- Gafik Eye

Elevators/Escalators: Kone- EcoSpace

Uppercut- Dual Flush, Flushometers

Radiant Heated Flooring: Heated Manifold- Rinnai
Flooring/ Polished Concrete- Retroplate

Operable window controls: Clearline

Tankless Water Heater: Rinnai