“New Nobel prizes will be won because of this building.”
– Mark Richards, UC Berkeley professor of Earth and Planetary Science
The experimental astronomy and physics building completes an Integrative Physical Sciences Complex that facilitates interaction between students and faculty within the University’s growing interdisciplinary science programs. The project literally bridges the gap between astronomers and physicists; a new open-air bridge to neighboring historic old LeConte Hall and the physics department cements that connection.
Campbell Hall houses technology-rich laboratories with specialized acoustic, vibration, and climate controls, modern instructional spaces, academic and administrative offices, support spaces, and a rooftop observatory that inspires, educates, and enlightens undergraduate students as well as the general public. The new building is also home to the Cosmology Commons, part of the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics in LeConte Hall.
The building sits facing arguably the University’s most significant historical plaza, including three National Register neoclassic buildings and two significant landscape features. The design lexicon for the new Campbell Hall is at once respectful of these historic structures and also conscious of the university’s mission for student-faculty interaction. The historic core to the east features a pitched tile roof, a primary skin color similar to legacy buildings, punched inset vertical windows, and satin finish metals for trim and accent materials. The west facing elevation opposite the historical core provides a more modern face, integrating a Brise Soleil, a glazed stair tower that offers views across the west campus, and the southwest-facing sixth floor observatory.
One of the driving mandates from project inception was for the building to serve as a model of sustainability for the campus; strategies for energy reduction, thermal heat gain mitigation, and natural ventilation are fully integrated into the design. Offices are located on the north & east sides of the building, and are only cooled by natural ventilation and carefully modeled to assure comfort.