American Baptist Seminary of the West, Hobart Hall

Berkeley, California

  • FIRM

    Integrated Structures


    American Baptist Seminary of the West

  • AREA

    20,000 sq.ft.





Renowned architect and engineer Julia Morgan designed Hobart Hall, the flagship building of the American Baptist Seminary of the West. The four-story, 20,000-square-foot building, which was built in 1919, is a California state landmark. The building contains classrooms and offices, and is within a quarter mile of one of the most dangerous faults in California.

The ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$148.50CITATIONBronze CitationFEATURED IN2001 Educational Interiors had two key components: to modernize the interior and upgrade the building’s seismic performance. All interiors, characteristic of the period style, were dark and acoustically live, and the classrooms had not been used for years. Due to the landmark status of the building’s exterior, all seismic strengthening, which included 165 linear feet of concrete shear wall, had to be constructed in the interior only.

As part of the modernization, the architect designed multicolored friezes with halogen spots, colored ceilings with pendant lighting and stained-glass curtains to create light in the interiors. Shear walls were placed to improve the interior spaces while respecting the original design. Custom acoustic ceilings were designed to integrate with the style of the building.

“Nice use of wood beams and stained glass. The colors and stained glass work well together. Low maintenance in common areas.”--2001 jury