Renovating A Mid Century Free Speech Student Icon
Built in 1959, the historic landscape has served as the venue of Berkeley’s civil rights and free speech movements but had become worn and neglected by students. The design was a foundation on top of which we addressed contemporary considerations. The new plaza design revitalizes the identity of the open space with native plant gardens integrated with stairs and ramps for universal access across significant grade change. Discrete design interventions artfully honor the mid-century modern design and improve the center of campus life. The design team worked closely on an advanced stormwater treatment and grey water reuse program to ensure that site and building infrastructure are highly integrated. All improvements are designed to respect existing dense tree groves and the mid-century modern character of the building complex.
The revitalization of the Lower Sproul Plaza and Student Community Center is a unique and important project for CMG in many ways: highly integrated building and landscape stormwater management, technical on-structure design incorporating new and existing plaza deck and building structures, and renovation and revitalization of the mid-century complex that is the historic host of Berkeley’s civil rights and free speech movements.