DAVID BROWER CENTER / OXFORD PLAZA AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Executed as WRT/Solomon ETC
Location: Berkeley, CA
Completed: Fall 2009
This competition-winning design for downtown Berkeley builds upon the programmatic richness which is inherent in the combination of affordable housing, environmental education, and a venue for the intersection of art and ecology into one hybrid structure.
Named after the Sierra Club’s first executive director, David Brower, the project houses 96 apartments, public education space, a restaurant, underground parking, and 50,000 SF of office and educational space for environmental non-profits. A shared courtyard links the various components of the project, providing a network of public and semi-private spaces which animate the public realm. A dramatic public lobby in the Brower Center connects the gallery, conference center, and office spaces into one shared experience.
The Brower Center's proposed platinum LEED rating is based upon environmental technologies and architectural elements related to siting, daylighting, natural ventilation, structure, photovoltaic power generation, and solar hot water. The photovoltaic cornice which caps the Brower Center acts as the emblem of the building's green agenda. It deforms as it wraps the east facade of the building in order to maintain a continuous southern orientation for the solar panels, while marking a prominent corner in downtown Berkeley.