University of California, Berkeley Moffitt Library Renovation

Berkeley, California

  • FIRM

    Gensler

  • CLIENT

    University of California, Berkeley

  • AREA

    39,000 sq.ft.

  • TOTAL COST

    $10,000,000.00

  • COMPLETION DATE

    1/2017

Designed in the 1960s as a cutting-edge library for graduate studies, Moffitt Library did not support 21st-century academic demands. Reinventing it as an active place for critical thought was paramount to the university’s 21st-century vision of learning.
The administration also dreamed of a building that would become a beacon to the entire campus. Given its ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$256.00CITATIONSpecial CitationFEATURED IN2018 Educational Interiors ShowcaseINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers location, the library has been a popular destination for students for more than four decades, but the university needed to remove hazardous materials from the midcentury-era building and to ameliorate infrastructure issues that limited core functions and optimal use of space.
Working with campus planning, capital planning, facilities, students, faculty, and staff in an integrated fashion, designers crafted a solution that was simple and relevant to the period of the building, yet modern in its approach to student needs. Moffitt Library is now a distinctive, tech-friendly, 24-hour center for learning—and packed with students who want to be in the building whether they are studying, visiting friends, working in teams, or mediating. The building is attracting students from across the campus—regardless of class—and is a vibrant hub that has reinvigorated the campus core and library experience.
Food-friendly policies that include family-style tables and open snacking within the library, as well as a designated, dimmed area with special nap chairs, enable the new Moffitt Library design to respond thoughtfully to the realities of student life. The building upgrade also carries out a new university-wide policy to install gender-inclusive restrooms in addition to traditional gender-specific facilities.