Diller Scofidio + Renfro gets Berkeley nod


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Diller Scofidio + Renfro has replaced Renzo Piano as the in-demand museum architect of the moment.

The New York firm, already in the driver’s seat for Eli Broad’s new museum on Bunker Hill and shortlisted for a new wing at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, has been picked to design a new museum for the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in downtown Berkeley.


The university had been pursuing a building by the Japanese architect Toyo Ito before it abandoned that plan as too expensive. Its current home, a remarkable if rather aggressive quasi-Brutalist 1970 design by Mario Ciampi, is plagued with seismic issues.

At the downtown site, DS+R, which is also leading an ambitious redesign effort at Lincoln Center in New York, will renovate an existing 48,000-square-foot printing plant and add a new building covering 50,000 square feet along Oxford Street, just outside the boundaries of the university campus. The museum hopes to open the new complex in 2014.

-- Christopher Hawthorne