Berkeley, California

Program: A 55,000-square-foot addition to Berkeley's law school, with a library spanning two subterranean levels and, above ground, a single-story pavilion housing a caf', a student lounge, and a classroom. The new structure sits in front of the horseshoe-shaped 1951 law complex and divides the campus' courtyard in two. The addition complements 49,000 square feet of renovations to the original building's four stories. New spaces include classrooms, faculty offices, and a moot court.


Design concept and solution: The school had outgrown its original building, lacked a social gathering space, and had to cope with disorganized additions made since 1951. Ratcliff set out to clarify the program and add an entry pavilion that would double as a social hub and a new gateway to the law complex. To streamline the existing facilities, the firm moved most of the library stacks to the basement of the addition, reserving the vacated floors for future growth. The remaining stacks, on the ground floor of the 1951 building, interfered with circulation. So the architects condensed the stacks in a smaller floor area to create a clear east-west corridor, bisected by a new path leading south to the addition. To contrast the addition from the concrete mass of the old building, Ratcliff conceived the new structure as a glass pavilion'an indoor extension of the courtyard'with a terra-cotta rain screen and terra-cotta baguettes to soften southern light. Blurring the boundary between inside and outside, sliding glass walls open the student lounge to the west courtyard, and exterior finishes carry over to the interior. Western red cedar warms up the overhangs outside and the ceilings inside, while terra-cotta panels extend from the south facade to the interior walls of the caf' and lounge. One level up, the pavilion's roof garden leads to a bridge to the existing building. Skylights on either side of the bridge filter daylight into the pavilion and down, via an illuminated glass staircase, to the lower levels of the library. Strips of glass paving in the east and west courtyards also serve as skylights.

Completion Date: August 2011

Owner: University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

5856 Doyle Street
Emeryville, CA 94608
T (510)899-6400
F (510)899-6404


University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

5856 Doyle Street
Emeryville, CA 94608
T (510)899-6400
F (510)899-6404

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Joseph A. Nicola RA, Principal in Charge/design
Crodd Chin, AIA, Lead planner/designer
Ben Levi, AIA, Project architect/designer
Peter Soldat, RA, Tony Keung, Greg Hildebrand, RA, designers
Kevin Thornton, AIA, Pikesh Desai, Chris Young, Bill Winkleman, Bob Wong, AIA, Al Socias, Henry Haikin, Nina Pakanant, Susan Kanno, Mike Matson, RA, Bill Blessing, RA, design team
Bonnie Thomas, Marianne Schumacher, Maria Holder, interior design team

Interior designer: Ratcliff

Structural:  Rutherford & Chekene
Civil:  Sherwood Design Engineers
Mechanical/HVAC:  Taylor Engineering
Plumbing/Fire Protection:  Huey Engineering
Electrical:  O’Mahony & Myer

Landscape: Hargreaves Associates
Lighting: Auerbach Glasow French
Acoustical: Smith Fause & McDonald
Daylighting:  Loisos + Ubbelohde
Graphics and Wayfinding:  Propp + Guerin
Telecommunications/Security:  TEECOM Design Group
Audio/Visual:  Smith Fause & McDonald
Food Service:  Webb Design
Elevator:  Pitfield & Associates
Specifications:  Emily Borland Specifications
Waterproofing:  Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
LEED Green Building:  Simon & Associates
Dewatering specialists:  Underwood & Rosenblum
Cost Estimating: Davis Langdon

General contractor: Hunt Construction

© Steve Whittaker
(650) 458-3397

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
AutoCAD, Revit



Structural system:
Steel frame, flat plate floor and thin mat foundation construction
Steel Columns: Dean Lally-Fire-Trol/ Armour Steel

Exterior cladding:
Masonry: Terracotta Rain Screen Cladding, NBK Ceramic, C/S Erectors
Natural Stone: KZ Tile
Metal/glass curtainwall: Novum Structures LLC glass and metal enclosures; Alcoa, C/S Erectors, zinc composite panels.
Concrete: WEBCOR
Wood:  LandscapeForms, exterior custom seating/benches
Waterproofing: CETCO (CorFlex thermoplastic membrane and active polymer core


Elastomeric: Sika Sarnafil/Best
Metal: VM Zinc/Best
Other:  VM Zinc


Steel: Novum Structures LLC
Aluminum: TRACO Windows


Glass: Flachglas/Novum Structures LLC
Skylights: Jockimo/Novum walkable glass planks; Supersky/Novum unit skylights
Other: Fire Rated Glazing: SAFTIfirst/ISEC


Entrances: CRL/Novum
Metal doors: ISEC
Wood doors: ISEC
Sliding doors: Blasi/Novum
Fire-control doors, security grilles: McKeon/B.T. Mancini


Locksets: Best/ISEC
Hinges:  Schlage/ISEC
Closers: ISEC
Exit devices: ISEC
Pulls: CRL/Novum
Security devices: ISEC
Cabinet hardware: Emminger

Interior finishes

Acoustical ceilings: 9Wood, Inc.; Eurospan stretched fabric ceiling; Decoustics, Armstrong
Suspension grid: Armstrong/Stockham Construction
Demountable partitions: Teknion
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Emminger
Paints and stains: Duranar, Scuffmaster, Benjamin Moore/DCVient
Wallcoverings:  StretchWall, Knoll Textiles
Paneling: DeCoustics/Stockham Construction, Exotic Hardwood/Emminger
Plastic laminate: Wilsonart, Formica
Solid surfacing:  Avonite, Corian
Porcelain tile: Crossville/KZ Tile (toilet rooms; kitchen)
Stone tile: Cold Springs Granite/KZ Tile (Café, Student Lounge)
Resilient flooring: Cork: Expanko/Hoem Associates (Reading Rooms)
Carpet: Bentley Prince Street (Offices)
Raised flooring: Tate Access Floors/Hoem (Classroom 132)
Terrazzo Flooring: American Terrazzo (Hallways; Corridors)
Custom Shelving (Reception):  3form


Office furniture:  Teknion/Sidemark, Herman Miller, Steelcase/One Workplace, Bernhardt
Reception furniture:  Emminger casework
Reception seating:  Steelcase
Training Room Tables:  Coalesse
Training Room Seating:  Steelcase
Upholstery:  Sina Pearson, Maharam
Custom reading room tables, carrels, bookcases:  Agati
Custom Reading Room Table dividers:  3form
Custom Banquette dividers:  3form
Custom conference tables: DFM
Café seating:  Allermuir, Coalesse
Courtyard tables & seating:  WCI, Tropitone
Café tables:  Fixtures, Davis, Coalesse
Lounge area tables:  Coalesse
Lounge area chairs:  Tuohy
Ergonomics:  Workrite
Mail Room:  Hamilton Sorter
Receptacles:  Forms + Surfaces


Interior ambient lighting:  Se’lux, Color Kinetics LED, io lighting, ledalite, Interlux
Downlights: Zumtobel, Lighting Systems, Ledalite, Lightolier, Selux, Louis Poulsen
Task lighting: Louis Poulsen, Humanscale, Borden
Exterior: BEGA
Controls: LUTRON


Elevators/Escalators: Ascent Elevator Services


Drinking Fountains:  HAWS
Hydration Station: HAWS
Plumbing Fixtures: Zurn

Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project:
Precast Concrete: Willis Construction
Artisan (Venetian) Plaster:  TBC Plaster Artisans
Mobile Storage Shelving: Spacesaver Corporation
Window Shades: Nysan Soalr Control/Pacific Shades