Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Coming Soon to Berkeley

Originally uploaded by AQUA_.
As you walk up Center Street from BART to the campus, you pass a Paper Plus Outlet, then lots of restaurants and cafes-- it's one block from Shattuck to the West Gate of UC Berkeley. But really, it's half a pedestrian entrance. The other side of the street is a Bank of America and parking lot, and UC's printing warehouse.

But not for long. Plans are afoot to put in a hotel and conference center where B of A is... and the warehouse will be home to the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive.

Today they announced the architect, Toyo Ito of Japan.

So I went and looked to see what might be in store for downtown Berkeley. Check out these links at Flickr (single photos don't do architecture justice, and Flickr is great and grouping pics together):
Sendai Mediatheque
TODs Omotesando Building (pictured above)

Mikimoto Ginza Building

Cool. Some of his early stuff looks a little too modern (there's a Yokohama day care facility that calls to mind an airport lobby), but I'll say this: a cutting edge building is certainly going to liven up downtown.
Plus, as a bonus, the Berkeley Daily Planet is so going to hate whatever the final product looks like.

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