November 18, 2009

Modern Ito Design Falls Prey To Modern Berkeley Economics

Toyo Ito's Berkeley Museum Design

"A shortage of funds has prompted UC Berkeley to abandon its plan to construct a new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive downtown. The building, a distinctive and innovative design by Tokyo architect Toyo Ito estimated to cost $143 million, was to replace the museum's present, seismically endangered quarters on Bancroft Way..."

UC Berkeley must scale back on downtown museum [SFGate]
Across The Bay (But Modern Museum Architecture Is On The Brain) [SocketSite]

First Published: November 18, 2009 8:15 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Unfortunate to not build this particular structure, though plans are indeed underway for a wonderful alternative.

Posted by: Joshua at November 18, 2009 8:51 AM

The current museum is a great work of architecture, beautifully done. The seismic retrofit in place, while not ideal, keeps the original concept legible.

Posted by: flaneur at November 18, 2009 9:37 AM

I have followed this project for years, and you could see this outcome from a mile away.

The liklihood that an institutional (i.e. state institution) structure by a designed by an architect like Ito (or renzo piano or norman foster) could be financed and built- in the best of times -is remote at best.

This might be a beautiful and would for sure be a phenomenally costly structure to built, and you really have to question the common sense and smarts of UC Berkeley in pursuing this for so long.

How much money was spent on this exercise? $5MIL??

There was a "shortage of funds" the day this project was conceived.

Posted by: Louis at November 18, 2009 9:56 AM

^ it's interesting to note the museum replaced its director between inception of the original project and today...

Posted by: Joshau at November 18, 2009 10:38 AM

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