Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

BERKELEY
ART
MUSEUM
AND
PACIFIC
FILM
ARCHIVE

UNIVERSITY
OF
CALIFORNIA,
BERKELEY

At the boundary between the City of Berkeley and the historic University campus, the new BAMPFA is a bridge institution, balancing civic and university interests, aligning its location with its mission as a nexus of aesthetic experience and critical discourse for the university and the community. The reuse of an existing 1939 Press Building to house galleries, a small theater, art-making lab, and other amenities sliced by a new structure to house a film theater, library, study center, and café offers an opportunity to create dynamic intersections across time-periods and styles as well as among disciplines and programs. The soft, supple body of the new structure, draped between adjacent orthogonal buildings and snagged on their sharp corners, creates a dramatic public spine. Through a language of adaptive reuse, strategic excavation and surgical addition, the existing Press Building will house eight galleries of varying sizes and characteristics. The form of the Osher Theater reinterprets 1930’s Streamline Moderne style of the Press Building in a contemporary language of ruled surfaces and precision-formed stainless steel. The sleek outer body is lined by a striated interior; the warm-colored sinews wrap the inside of the silvery shell. At the Addison Street end, the new structure hovers above an open excavation, exposing the library and works on paper study center to the public. The other end of the new form is counterbalanced by a café dramatically cantilevered over Center Street.

  • Aerial view from the UC Berkeley campus
    Aerial view from the UC Berkeley campus
    Aerial view from the UC Berkeley campus
  • Multi-purpose street-frontage space
    Multi-purpose street-frontage space
    Multi-purpose street-frontage space
  • View of the main corridor, looking south from the lobby toward the Barbro Osher Theater; ground-floor gallery to the left
    View of the main corridor, looking south from the lobby toward the Barbro Osher Theater; ground-floor gallery to the left
    View of the main corridor, looking south from the lobby toward the Barbro Osher Theater; ground-floor gallery to the left
  • Ground-floor gallery
  • Main corridor on the lower level looking south, with view above to the second level
  • Interior view of the multipurpose event space and mezzanine, with the underside of the theater
  • Interior view of the Barbro Osher Theater
  • Large ground-floor gallery with view into the cafe above
  • Looking from cafe to main floor gallery below
  • View of the cafe looking South over Center Street
  • View of the Center Street facade, with main entrance and cantilevered café above
  • Corner at dusk
  • Detail view of the curtain wall and stainless steel cladding along the Oxford Street façade
  • View from Oxford and Addison Streets with outdoor screen
  • Existing building
  • Bird's eye view from east
Project information
Size (GSF)82000LocationBerkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, United States
    Photography by Iwan Baan,Elizabeth Daniels,and David Stark Wilson