LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects provided programming and design services to the University of California Berkeley, College of Engineering, for a new building which houses the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation. The Institute’s mission is to re-energize design and manufacturing innovation at the national level, honing the integrated set of skills students will need to create an abundant, sustainable future. As the new home for the Institute, Jacobs Hall provides an inspiring, flexible environment that offers a variety of “maker spaces” to foster interdisciplinary and collaborative creativity. The new building is at the edge of campus, addressing both the existing Soda Hall and the adjacent residential neighborhood. The project is a model of sustainable design that reflects the core values of the University, the College of Engineering and the Institute.
Founded on the conviction that design can help address some of society’s most pressing challenges, the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation provides opportunities for undergraduate engineering students to engage with students from other disciplines in team-based exploration.
Located on a corner site at the northern edge of campus, the building is designed to attract makers six days a week. Glazed stairwells on the east and west sidesproject outward, welcoming students. Transparent facades and overlooks reveal the creative activity within.A cantilevered photovoltaic array ascends to the north, expressing the institute’s aspirational values.
Typically, university engineering buildings feature fully enclosed classrooms along double-loaded corridors, with shops on another floor or down the hall. In contrast, the institute’s large, transparent design studios are bordered by special project rooms, instructor’s offices, and fabrication equipment rooms in order to support rapid prototyping and collaboration.The studios offer abundant daylight and large moveable tables that invite quick reconfiguration. The flexible support spaces at the north side of the studios can easily be converted into special projects rooms, offices, conference rooms, or additional machine rooms for rapid prototyping.Alofty, open studio at the third level doubles as a design studio and a new venue for university-wide conferences and poster sessions on topics related to design innovation.
To communicate design culture in a timeless way, the design team suggested mounting a university-wide student design competition for a graphic that would be digitized, CNC-routed into plywood panels, and placed along walls in the entry lobbies and stairs. The winner’s scheme was inspired by photos of hand gestures her fellow students made while talking about design.
Bordered by two four-story engineering buildings to the west and south and single-family residences and apartment buildings to the north, the three-story building transitions to a two-story mass facing the residences. On the south, the building opens to a patio and a bridge leading to a terrace at the adjacent Soda Hall, allowing work to spill outdoors in good weather.
On track for LEED Platinum certification, the building is designed to use 90% less energy than a typical university building in the region. The high-performance, naturallyventilated building envelope takes advantage ofextensive daylighting, with cantilevered aluminum sunshades and projecting presentation bays blocking unwanted solar heat gain. All hot and chilled water for space conditioning is provided by surplus water from Soda Hall.
The photovoltaic array provides 58% of the building’s energy requirement.Ultra-efficient fixtures and irrigation reduce water use by 45% below baseline. One hundred percent of stormwater is bio-filtered on-site.The new building provides no parking except for one wheelchair-accessible street parking space. Access to the building is almost solely by foot, bicycle, and public transit.