The Dwight Way Childcare Center, one of 11 buildings recognized by BDA this year for its excellent design. Photo: Siegel & Strain Architects
The UC Berkeley-owned Dwight Way Childcare Center, one of 11 buildings recognized by BDA this year for its excellent design. Photo: Siegel & Strain Architects

Berkeley Design Advocates, a volunteer group of architects and urban planners, showcase the best contemporary design in Berkeley — as well as the best restoration of the city’s historical buildings — with their bi-annual awards.

For 2015, the group has selected the buildings and projects they consider contribute to Berkeley both aesthetically and in terms of civic engagement.

This year the awards fall into three categories: Restoration and Re-use, New Construction/Civic Institutions, and Food and Drink. A total of eleven buildings were recognized, and DBA also gave out a special award for Successful Urban Intervention.

The award winners are listed below, with caption excerpts from the Berkeley Design Advocates award write-ups. Read full details, including the names of the developers and architects, in the Berkeley Design Advocates awards brochure.

Restoration and Re-use: Good Shepherd Church

“Complete interior and exterior renovation, following substantial fire damage, has preserved this beautiful and important historic building, a Victorian Gothic structure and the oldest church in continuous use in the East Bay.” Photo: Good Shepherd Church

Restoration and Re-use: Lifelong West Berkeley Health Center

“This project very successfully—and seamlessly—combines new construction with the thoughtful reuse of a historic building.” Photo: Pete Rosos

Restoration and Re-use: Berkeley Kitchens

“Contemporary features—lights, ramp, new doors and second floor balcony rail—are all well integrated in this conservation/preservation project.” Photo: Tracey Taylor

Restoration and Re-use: UC Berkeley Campanile Esplanade

The restoration preserves the restraint and sense of proportion instilled by the original designer, Berkeley campus architect John Galen Howard, with a few key improvements that are either invisible or perfectly compliment the original design. Photo: RHAA

New Construction/Civic Institutions: South Branch Library

“Field Paoli Architects has created in the new South Branch Library an inspiring, elegant and highly functional community resource that should serve a diverse community for decades and decades to come.” Photo: Richard Friedman

New Construction/Civic Institutions: West Berkeley Library

“This new building brings urbanity and a sense of identity to a nondescript section of busy University Avenue while becoming the first certified Net-Zero Energy library in the state.” Photo: Richard Friedman

New Construction/Civic Institutions: Dwight Way Child Development Center

“This new childcare facility for young does a lot with a little. While modest from the street, the building evinces careful and skillful use of limited resources, and is as playful as it is serious about safety and sustainability.” Photo: Siegel & Strain Architects

Food and Drink: Eureka!

“What a transformation! If there was ever the case of making a silk purse of a sow’s ear—this project is it.” Photo- AB Design Studio Inc.

Food and Drink: Mission: Heirloom Garden Café

“Three yellow wall lights over a grey austere store front belies the delightful, transparent, roofed garden dining space beyond.” Photo: Mission: Heirloom Café

Food and Drink: Westbrae Biergarten

“The jury praised this project for showing how to turn a mostly vacant lot into a vibrant neighborhood oasis.” Photo: DSA Architects

Food and Drink: Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room

“This interior well suits its function—lighting, seating, creative wall treatment (beer bottle bottoms) all work together to create a lively, signature tasting room for Sierra Nevada brewery.” Photo: Trachtenberg Architects

Special Award for Successful Urban Intervention: Gilman Development

“This project is laudable for giving amenity and a measure of character to a “no-man’s land” intersection dominated by big boxes and parking lots, which is a pervasive problem in many cities and towns.” Photo: courtesy Farm Burger

Writing in the awards brochure, DBA President Anthony Bruzzone said: “This year’s projects continue the tradition of great design, and at a time when the economy is booming. The awardees range widely across the city, from the University into West Berkeley, which is rapidly becoming a hotbed of contemporary and innovative design.”

Bruzzone also expressed concern about the impacts of the increasingly high cost of housing in the city. “We continue to explore concepts to reduce delivery cost while at the same time acknowledging that increasing supply is critical,” he wrote.

The DBA has been working the past few years on improving specific areas of Berkeley in need or revitalization, in particular Telegraph Avenue. Read more about those efforts.

See the full Berkeley Design Advocates awards brochure.

Nine Berkeley buildings win design excellence awards (4.3.14)

Get the latest Berkeley news in your inbox with Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing. And make sure to bookmark Berkeleyside’s pages on Facebook and Twitter. You don’t need an account on those sites to view important information.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...