Located in Berkeley, United States, UC Berkeley Durant Hall was designed by Mark Cavagnero Associates. The original home of Boalt Law School, this four-storey granite building most recently served as the East Asian Library before its current conversion into the administrative offices for the College of Letters and Sciences. Incorporating structural improvements, contemporary material upgrades, and improved accessibility, the renovation transforms Durant Hall into a contemporary setting befitting the deans and administrators of the university’s largest college, while also preserving the historic landmark building’s architectural legacy.
Faced with elevated north and south entrances that are only accessible via stone stairs, the design team’s solution was to provide universal accessibility through the introduction of an elegant new entry plaza. Inside, this entry level houses the Graduate Research Center and student and faculty conference rooms, and connects to the upper floors via a new elevator that provides full accessibility without disturbing the building’s original roofline. Transparent and opaque glass, bright walls, and modern furnishings and lighting create a refined, dynamic entrance.