UC Berkeley David Blackwell Residence Hall

2400 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA

  • Architect: Solomon Cordwell Buenz
  • Contractor: Webcor Builders
  • Developer: American Campus Communities
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Credit: Rendering courtesy of Solomon Cordwell Buenz

Designed to help ease UC Berkeley's student housing shortage, this is an eight-story, concrete mixed-used building accommodating 783 beds organized in “pods,” or distinct communities, of up to 30 students each in double-occupancy units. The ground floor includes student social spaces; a fitness room; administrative offices; 7,000 sf of retail space; and 5,300 sf for the new Stiles Hall, a private, nonprofit agency dedicated to serving the broader community.

The structural system comprises thin (7") two-way PT concrete floor and roof slabs supported by concrete columns; lateral stability is provided by concrete walls ranging 12" – 18" thick. The columns and walls land on a two-way concrete mat slab 24" – 36" thick.

Sophisticated analysis was employed to capture efficiencies in the interaction of the walls, columns, and foundation, particularly to obviate deep foundations and to optimize space for the intended program.