UC Berkeley News
Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

Memorial Stadium
The modernization and seismic upgrading of 82-year-old Memorial Stadium will be designed by a team led by HNTB Architecture. (Photograph © 2003 by Alan Nyiri, courtesy of the Atkinson Photographic Archive)

Architects announced for Memorial Stadium renovation, new academic commons building

– The University of California, Berkeley, announced today (Monday, May 9) the selection of architects for the two cornerstone projects of the planned renaissance of the southeast area of the campus, the renovation and seismic improvement of California Memorial Stadium and the addition of an academic commons building for contemporary legal and business education.

The campus has reached an agreement in principle with HNTB Architecture for the firm to lead the architectural renovation of the football stadium. The Santa Monica-based firm of Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners will lead the design work for the academic commons building.

The selection of the architects follows an announcement in February by UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau of a conceptual plan to integrate improvements to the southeast area of the campus.

Sandy Barbour, director of athletics at UC Berkeley, said today's announcement represents "the beginning of an elaborate process and marks an early step in our long anticipated renovation of Memorial Stadium. HNTB has an outstanding reputation in the field, and we are excited to have it on our team as we move forward with the project."

The deans of the law and business schools were also pleased by the selection for their new building. "We were thrilled by the brilliant designs in MRY's portfolio. They have the technical and artistic talent to design a structure that will not only be a physical bridge between the schools of law and business, but also an innovative use of architecture to support and nourish a quality of intellectual collaboration unique to American campuses," said Christopher Edley, dean of Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley's law school.

"The Haas School is currently housed in a spectacularly successful MYR-designed building, so we know full well the superb capabilities of this firm," said Richard Lyons, dean of the business school. "We are confident that the firm will again deliver a facility that not only achieves its functional and design objectives, but also one that becomes a landmark on the Berkeley campus."

The renovation of the 82-year-old Memorial Stadium is driven by the need for both seismic safety improvements and modernization. The plan is to preserve the historic character of the stadium while creating a first-rate facility that improves life safety, enhances the game-day experience for fans, and provides football and 12 other men's and women's intercollegiate teams with space for a state-of-the-art training and development and coaching center.

HNTB, a national leader in the planning and design of sports and entertainment facilities, has been recognized for its design of new and renovated stadiums, both on the professional and college levels.

In recent years, HNTB has designed upgrades for such historic venues as the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Ohio State University's Ohio Stadium, Purdue University's Ross-Ade Stadium and Spartan Stadium at Michigan State University. The firm has also secured contracts to renovate stadiums at the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois over the past few months. Within the Pacific-10 Conference, HNTB is currently working on athletic facilities and stadiums for Oregon State University, Arizona State University and the University of Southern California.

For UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium project, HNTB will work in conjunction with Studios Architecture, an internationally recognized design firm in San Francisco. Working with a Memorial Stadium Advisory Committee last fall, Studios developed the integrated concept for the southeast campus improvements.

The academic commons building will provide the kind of modern space required of collaborative and contemporary legal and business education. Moore Ruble Yudell is an interdisciplinary design studio with an international practice that extends from the design of the new U.S. Embassy in Berlin to a new master plan for housing in Chongqing, China. Known for its collaborative approach, the firm's work has included the design of several highly regarded libraries and academic facilities, including the Haas School of Business complex on the UC Berkeley campus, the Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library Addition and the Powell Library renovation, both at UCLA, the newly opened Joseph Steger Student Life Center at University of Cincinnati, and the Sloan School of Business at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

For the academic commons building, Moore Ruble Yudell will work in conjunction with Architectural Resources Group (ARG) of San Francisco. ARG is known for high-profile projects including the new Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, adaptive re-use projects for Stanford University and for Carnegie-Mellon University's West Coast campus at Moffett Field, and restoration projects, including the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park.