Design Firm to Be Chosen in Museum Renovation

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After considering 10 architecture firms in the design of a plan for the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive's new location, museum officials announced Tuesday that they have narrowed their decision to three firms.

The selected firms include Boston-based Ann Beha Architects, New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro and New York-based Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.

The current museum, located at Bancroft Way and College Avenue, was deemed seismically unsafe in 1999. Once a design plan is finalized, the museum will move to its new Downtown location, the former UC Printing Plant.

The selection process of a new design firm began after a design plan by Japanese architect Toyo Ito was deemed too expensive and discarded. Ito's plan projected $145 million in costs and construction of an entirely new museum.

Lawrence Rinder, director of the museum, said the 10 firms were judged by officials under a number of criteria to narrow the decision to three.

"We were looking for firms that had demonstrated excellence in designing of museum and gallery, and who had excellence in both renovation and addition," he said.

Museum officials have raised about $47 million from various foundations and donors to fund the project but have yet to reach the estimated $85 million needed to cover capital costs of design and construction, Rinder said.

The new facility will include the renovation of the current structure and the addition of a 50,000 square foot building-a total of 100,000 square feet.

"The new museum will be ... designed to support its programs, and exhibit all the things they do," said Christine Shaff, communications director for UC Berkeley facilities services.

Councilmember Susan Wengraf said she is excited about the relocation of the museum and hopes the new design will utilize the elegance of the current plant structure.

"I hope they can find a firm that can do a fabulous adaptive re-use of the building that's currently there," she said.

Rinder said the museum's board of trustees plans to choose one design firm by the end of June, adding that construction should be finished by 2014.

Stephanie Baer of The Daily

Californian contributed to this report.

Tags: BERKELEY ART MUSEUM


Contact Hailey Parish at [email protected]



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