Berkeley Hillel, the Jewish student center adjacent to the University of California, Berkeley, welcomes students to gather, study together, explore their Jewish heritage, engage in community service, and enjoy the comforts of a home away from home. The renovation of Berkeley Hillel completely reconfigured offices, meeting rooms, auditorium, and collaborative work spaces within the shell of the 1950s building.
Flexibility and adaptability over time were important design considerations: each space can be used in different ways and can be easily reconfigured in the future. All building systems were upgraded and the structure was seismically upgraded. Exterior decks and yards were reconfigured to better connect them to indoor spaces and to create a variety of outdoor terraces for gatherings of different sizes. The building received a “facelift’” with a new limestone base, integral colored stucco, and a reconfigured entry stair with a welcoming canopy.