Campus of the University of California, Berkeley
The campus of the University of California, Berkeley, and its surrounding community are home to a number of notable buildings by early 20th-century campus architect John Galen Howard, his peer Bernard Maybeck (best known for the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts), and Maybeck's student Julia Morgan. Later buildings were designed by architects such as Charles Willard Moore (Haas School of Business) and Joseph Esherick (Wurster Hall).
Very little of the early University of California (c. 1868–1903) remains, with the Victorian Second Empire-style South Hall (1873) and Piedmont Avenue (designed by Frederick Law Olmsted) being notable exceptions. What is considered the historic campus today was the eventual result of the 1898 "International Competition for the Phoebe Hearst Architectural Plan for the University of California," funded by William Randolph Hearst’s mother and initially held in the Belgian city of Antwerp (eleven finalists were judged again in San Francisco, 1899).
This unprecedented competition came about from one-upmanship between the prominent Hearst and Stanford families of the Bay Area. In response to the founding of Stanford University, the Hearst Family decided to "adopt" the fledgling University of California and develop their own world-class institution. Although Emile Bénard, a Frenchman, won the competition, he disliked the "uncultured" San Francisco atmosphere and refused to personally revise the plan to the site. He was replaced by fourth place winner John Galen Howard, who would later become UC Berkeley's resident campus architect. Only University House, designed by architect Albert Pissis and then home to the President of the University of California, was placed according to the original Bénard plan (today it is the home of UC Berkeley's Chancellor).
Much of the older campus is built in the Beaux-Arts Classical style, which was the style preferred by John Galen Howard and Phoebe Hearst (who paid his salary). This area is now referred to as the “classical core” of the campus. With the support of University President Benjamin Ide Wheeler, Howard designed over twenty buildings, which set the tone for the campus up until its expansion in the 1950s and '60s. These included the Hearst Greek Theatre, the Hearst Memorial Mining Building, Doe Memorial Library, California Hall, Wheeler Hall, (Old) Le Conte Hall, Gilman Hall, Haviland Hall, Wellman Hall, Sather Gate, and the 307-foot (94 m) Sather Tower (nicknamed "the Campanile" after its architectural inspiration, St Mark's Campanile in Venice). Buildings he regarded as temporary, nonacademic, or not particularly "serious" were designed in shingle or Collegiate Gothic styles, such as North Gate Hall, Dwinelle Annex, and Stephens Hall.
Buildings Founders' Rock, University House, Faculty Club and Glade, Hearst Greek Theatre, Hearst Memorial Mining Building, Doe Library, Sather Tower and Esplanade, Sather Gate and Bridge, Hearst Gymnasium, California, Durant, Wellman, Hilgard, Giannini, Wheeler, North Gate and South Halls are a California Historical Landmark and are now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Bowles Hall—built in 1928—is California's oldest state-owned dormitory and is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
John Galen Howard retired in 1924, his support base gone with both Phoebe Hearst's death and President Wheeler's resignation in 1919. William Randolph Hearst, seeking to memorialize his mother, contributed to Howard's resignation by commissioning Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan to design a series of dramatic buildings on the southern part of the campus. These were originally to include a huge domed auditorium, a museum, an art school, and a women's gymnasium, all arranged on an eastward esplanade and classically oriented towards the campanile. However, only the Hearst Women's Gymnasium was completed before the Great Depression, at which point Hearst decided to focus on his estate at San Simeon instead.
The dramatic increase in enrollment during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s led to the rapid expansion of the campus, beginning with the University's appropriation of the north end of Telegraph Avenue to form Sproul Plaza and headed on its east side by Sproul Hall, a new neoclassical building for the campus administration. However, the administration moved out of Sproul and into California Hall, situated in the heart of campus, after students barricaded themselves in Sproul during the 1964 Free Speech Movement. (Today, Sproul Hall houses Student Services and the Admissions Office, and Sproul Plaza is the center of student activities.) A series of huge Brutalist concrete buildings were also built to provide much-needed housing, lab, office, and classroom space, including Evans Hall, Cory Hall, Wurster Hall, Davis Hall, McCone Hall, Zellerbach Hall, the undergraduate dorms Units 1, 2, and 3, and others.
Gray-green Evans Hall is the tallest instructional building on the campus and houses the offices of faculty in mathematics, statistics, and economics. Evans Hall is widely reviled; a recent campus development plan lists Evans Hall as a candidate for demolition within the next fifteen years. Cory Hall, the electrical engineering building, was the site of two attacks by the Unabomber in 1982 and 1985. Its neighbor, Soda Hall (computer science), is one of the few classroom buildings on campus with showers. It was completed in August 1994 at the cost of $35.5 million, raised entirely from private gifts. Dwinelle Hall is another large building on campus; its rooms are strangely numbered both because Dwinelle Hall was built with entrances on different levels on a slope and because its expansions were numbered differently from the original building. Because this confusing building is host to both large lecture classes and numerous discussion classes, it is sometimes called the "freshman maze."
Underneath UC Berkeley's oldest buildings is a system of steam tunnels which carry steam for heat and power. During the 1960s, Berkeley students chained the doorknobs of the Chancellor's office in protest over the Vietnam War. The Chancellor, having no other way in or out of the building, used the steam tunnels to escape. Afterwards, the exterior double doors on that building were changed so they only had one doorknob, and this remains today.
New construction developments
Recent developments include the newly completed Jean Hargrove Music Library, the fourth free-standing music library to be constructed in the United States.
In 2006, the new Stanley Hall, named after the 1946 winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, opened its doors. It houses the headquarters of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) and serves as a center for interdisciplinary teaching and research as part of the campus Health Sciences Initiative. Designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, the 285,000 sq ft (26,500 m2). building contains 40 laboratories, and a 300-seat auditorium.
Davis Hall, primarily the location of the Civil Engineering Department, will be expanded to serve as the headquarters for the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS). Estimated at 185,000 sq ft (17,200 m2)., the building will support a "broad array of projects, from information systems for emergency and disaster response in an earthquake to life-saving medical alert sensors, to ‘smart’ buildings that automatically adjust their internal environments, to save energy and reduce pollution." It will include nanofabrication facilities, labs, and classrooms.
The Tien Center for East Asian Studies, named for Chang Lin Tien, one of the campus' most beloved chancellors, consists of the C.V. Starr East Asian Studies Library, intended to maintain Berkeley’s strengths in the subject. The first free-standing buildings to be devoted to East Asian Studies in the United States, the Library is open after completion and dedication in October 2007. The library houses the largest collections of East Asian materials outside of Asia and behind the collections of Harvard University and the Library of Congress.
- Steam Tunnels at UC Berkeley
- Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects
- John King (March 17, 2008). "Asian library is among best new buildings". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Chang-Lin Tien Center for East Asian Studies: Introduction