Apr 9, 2015
1 comment

SHoP Architects, the New York firm that designed the Brooklyn Nets’ home stadium, won the Design Ideas Exercise for the University of California’s Berkeley Global Campus in Richmond Bay, the firm announced Thursday.

The firm sent the Richmond Standard a few images of what it envisions the research campus could look like when it is built at the site of UC Berkeley’s Richmond Field Station at 1301 S 46th St.

The design attempts to achieve “an environmentally-sensitive, technologically-savvy infrastructure system” that would enable connections to the local community as well as the soon-to-be built ferry terminal in Richmond.

The designs also feature plenty of access for pedestrians and bicyclists, including an elevated pathway that connects to the San Francisco Bay Trail without interfering with shoreline ecosystems (see image below).

berkeleycampusdesigns.4-9-3“Academic, residential, commercial, public space, transit, and sensitive ecologies are woven together by an extensive pedestrian and bicycle network,” the firm said of its design.

The design was developed by SHoP along with landscape architecture firm Surface Design.

berkeleycampusdesigns.4-9-2“SHoP presents the most helpful overview, in part because it does set a framework for development that uses the natural advantages (and challenges) of the site and also realistically charts out phases of development,” said UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks.

SHoP’s recent and current work includes the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn, Manhattan’s East River Esplanade, the Domino Sugar and Essex Crossing redevelopments in New York City, and the Botswana Innovation Hub in Gaborone.

In October, Dirks first presented his vision for the  Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay (BGCRB) to the Academic Senate, saying it will serve as a research center and action hub that will focus on complex global challenges, bringing together academic institutions, private sector and community partners.

The project was revised from the former “Richmond Bay Campus,” which was intended to be an extension of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL). That version of the project stalled due to federal budget cuts in 2013, although LBNL remains a partner in the BGCRB plan.

berkeleycampusdesigns.4-9-1On Wednesday, Dirks updated UC Berkeley’s faculty on BGCRB, but was met by opposition from students who have joined a group of Richmond community members in demanding that a community benefits agreement be signed to ensure Richmond area residents economically benefit from the project.


  1. This project should bring huge benefits to Richmond and elevate its image as a major research/educational center. Kudos to all Richmond leaders, past and present that worked to win this facility for the city.

    Maurice Abraham | Apr 16th, 2015

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.