University of California, Berkeley – Lower Sproul Redevelopment

  • area / size 184,000 sqft
  • Completed 2015
  • Moore Ruble Yudell designed the Lower Sproul Redevelopment at the University of California at Berkeley in Berkeley, California.

    Moore Ruble Yudell was asked to lead the design of the Lower Sproul Redevelopment Project, a student-led initiative at the University of California-Berkeley. Students at University of California, Berkeley voted for a student fee hike to help the university fund the adaptive reuse, construction, and revitalization of the multi-building Lower Sproul Plaza. The master plan balanced physical and programming needs; celebrates the diverse community of students, faculty, and staff; and creates a “living room” for student life and learning. Extensive pre-design master planning, and programming phases benefited from significant input from university representatives, including both students and administrators.

    The ultimate redevelopment involved demolishing the existing concrete Eshleman Hall, built in the 1960s and structural insufficient for the area’s earthquakes, and replaced it with a larger, more transparent building to expose the engaging activities within. The MLK Jr. Student Union and Cesar Chavez Student Centers were also renovated and expanded, while the Pelican Building and alumni house were seismically strengthened. The project also included the intentional addition of new planters, trees, seating, and a rain garden to the plaza.

    Modern flexible spaces within the new building accommodate the evolving needs of future generations of students for student services, retail, food service, meeting space, and space for student organizations and student government. The completed Lower Sproul Redevelopment effort ultimately made the southern edge of the campus, on Bancroft Way, a vibrant gateway between the University campus and the Berkeley community, bustling with 24/7 activity.

    Design: Moore Ruble Yudell
    Photography: Bruce Damonte, Alan Karchmer