Bowles Hall is a 1928 collegiate Gothic-style reinforced concrete building that sits astride the Hayward Fault on a steep hillside above the UC Berkeley campus. Under the leadership of the Bowles Hall Foundation and developer EdR, this campus landmark was restored to its original function as a residential college with integrated dining and academic facilities.
The 55,340 SF dormitory originally provided communal bathrooms and room suites, which were reconfigured to private rooms and en-suite baths shared by no more than four students of any gender. Historic common rooms on the main floor were restored in keeping with the original design as well as the third floor dining facilities and library. Apartment-style living quarters for two faculty members were added.
Reconfigured existing spaces and a new 3,725 SF addition house support services such as a commercial kitchen and new common spaces including a game room, fitness room, study lounges and private study rooms.
The renovation included significant seismic and life-safety improvements. The building’s stepped levels demanded accessibility interventions including an enlarged elevator shaft providing split-level stops as well as stops to floors previously not serviced. The deteriorating concrete façade was restored and slipping terracotta roof tiles securely reinstalled. The landscape was modified to create better shared outdoor spaces and enhance the accessible route to the Campus.
The result is a supportive community for 189 undergraduate students with a unique sense of identity within the context of this large public university.