Location: Berkeley, California

Client: University of California, Berkeley

The Facilities Master Plan for the College of Engineering at Berkeley focuses on re-configuring the nearly 100-year old campus to meet the needs of evolving technology and the redefinition of traditional engineering disciplines for a new multi-disciplinary future in the sciences. Projects within the master plan include (1) an urban design framework to improve opportunities for social interaction within the College; (2) appropriate use of the off-site Richmond Field Station for public-private ventures; and (3) concept design for the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), an interdisciplinary research facility with connections to all Colleges in the University as well as to private research and engineering entities.

Within its 20-year horizon, the master plan anticipates the scope and character of future facilities needs and guides the urban design goals for those facilities. The plan looks globally at the College of Engineering, focused on the following issues: supporting social interaction; strengthening and creating community; supporting interdisciplinary research and teaching; responding to change; reconfiguring with flexibility; adapting to changes in information infrastructure and the mobility of students and faculty; and strengthening the College’s sense of place.

The College of Engineering manages a 152-acre off-site research center at the Richmond Field Station, eight miles from the main campus. The site contains environmentally sensitive areas, but a total of 87 acres is available for development. Currently, the site contains 80 buildings totaling 500,000 square feet serving four colleges, the Northern Regional Library, and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories. The plan identifies the College’s options for future use of the Field Station, including coordination with adjoining sites that affords an opportunity for private-public partnerships in technology research and development.

Johnson Fain also developed the Detailed Project Program (DPP) and was the design architect for CITRIS, the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, the first new building in the interdisciplinary core of the College of Engineering. Now renamed as the Sutardja Dia Hall, this facility provides a public-private research base for cutting-edge microfabrication and other technologies critical to California’s economic future, and promises major social scale innovation for the state and the nation. The 130,000 square foot building contains laboratories, seminar rooms, state-of-the-art classrooms, computing facilities, and offices for administration of public and private grants and contracts. The design, massing and scale of the building responds to nearby historic Arts & Crafts buildings as well as the adjacent Naval Architecture Building.

Aerial photo courtesy Philip Greenspun