New Museum Designed to Be a Cultural Destination

Photo: The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive renovation plan presented to the UC Board of Regents last month includes space for academic programs and a new location.
UC Berkeley News Center/Courtesy
The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive renovation plan presented to the UC Board of Regents last month includes space for academic programs and a new location.


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The preliminary designs for the renovation of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive were presented last month at a UC Board of Regents committee meeting.

The new museum will be located at Oxford and Center streets and is set to include larger galleries and theaters, said Kathleen Maclay, spokesperson for the university, in an e-mail.

Along with the expanded theaters and galleries, the renovated museum would also offer space for academic programs, such as a media lab and study rooms, Maclay said.

The decision to rebuild the museum in a new location began in 1999 when the Bancroft Way and College Avenue location was deemed seismically unsafe.

After a partial retrofitting, the current art museum and film archives were permitted to stay open until the planning and construction for the new building are completed.

Campus officials said the museum's new design and new location will be beneficial for the area, as it will expand its reach to the larger community.

"Moving BAM/PFA to the center of Berkeley's emerging arts district will ensure its position among the Bay Area's must-see cultural destinations," Maclay said in an e-mail. "This location on the edges of campus and downtown and its proximity to public transit add to its accessibility for visitors."

The museum marks Japan-based firm Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects' first project in the United States. It is estimated to cost $145 million for construction, Maclay said.

No official deadline has been set for further planning and construction, Maclay said. The goal is to open the museum by 2013.

In the next few months, the university will work with the building architect to refine the conceptual plan, which will also be presented to the regents as progress is made on the designs. Additionally, funds are being raised for the project.

Members of the Art Group at Berkeley, a student group on campus, said they had been working to build a connection between the students and the museum and are pleased with the designs.

"There are some graduate students that are part of the art museum and the different events and different exhibits," said President Lettie McGuire. "We'd like to be more a part of the process and the exhibits."

Tags: UC BOARD OF REGENTS, BERKELEY ART MUSEUM, PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE


Sameea Kamal covers development and capital projects. Contact her at [email protected]



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