The circa 1930's landmark, art-deco-style building in downtown Berkeley, has been reinvented as a mixed-use facility for the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) complete with ministerial college and temple. Additionally, the building includes a book store and coffee bar, lecture hall, classroom, dormitory, offices and associated facilities.
The complex entailed the addition of two stories to the south portion of the building, creating a three-story structure, totaling nearly 35,000-sq.-ft, as well as the addition of a 12,000-sq.-ft. underground parking garage. The existing north portion of the building retained its original single-story design, but the interior was completely revamped to accommodate the new use. DPR was able to recycle and salvage more than 93 percent of the materials form existing structure, just one of the green friendly elements of this project.
The building's new interior features a Kodo, or multipurpose hall complete with a chapel for Buddhist ministerial training. To accomplish the exacting work of creating and installing the altar components in the chapel, the owner brought over wood workers and installers from Kyoto, Japan, which added another layer of complexity to the construction process.