University of California--Berkeley, Bancroft Library (Doe Annex) Improvements

Berkeley, California

  • FIRM



    University of California--Berkeley

  • AREA

    130,000 sq.ft.





This project represents a complete transformation of one of the most important rare-book research libraries in the world (collections valued at $3 billion). Constructed in 1950 and attached to the historic main Doe Library, which was designed by John Galen Howard in 1910, the Bancroft Library once was regarded as a "hard-to-find" haven. The library’s ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$492.00FEATURED IN2009 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation collections were being stored in tenuous conditions and threatened by the building’s poor seismic rating, inadequate HVAC, fire/life safety and security systems.

A complete gut/renovation resulted in major improvements to security and curatorial environmental considerations. In addition, the design included a new circulation pattern and a new main entry. New first-floor public spaces, such as an exhibit gallery and entry rotunda with a grand staircase leading to the main reference and reading rooms, also were created.

High-performance environmental controls address strict preservation criteria for collection storage and public spaces; sustainable design features promote healthful conditions for visitors and staff.

In September 2008, the Bancroft Library reopened, accessible to all and once again worthy of displaying the unparalleled collections.