Vernon De Mars / Donald Olsen / Joseph Esherick: Wurster Hall (UC Berkeley), 1958D–1964

  • Berkeley, California, USA, Show on map
  • #EDU #North America
  • Wurster is the home of the University of California at Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design (CED). Wurster Hall’s design was led by then Dean William Wurster. Wurster wanted to design a building that "achieved timelessness through freedom from stylistic quirks." The use of concrete was due to both aesthetics of the time as well as economic realities. While Wurster’s architects deny they were following any style in particular, throughout its history, the building has frequently been associated with Brutalism. Written by Jeff Seastrom

  • Wurster Hall remains home to Cal Berkeley’s CED to this day. The CED houses architecture, landscape architecture, environmental design, and city and regional planning program departments. The building was extensively renovated with architectural and seismic improvements that were completed in 2003.  Historian Sally Woodbridge summarized the building as follows:  “As Wurster Hall weathered without mellowing, it reflected Wurster's opinion that a school should be a rough place with many cracks in it. Perpetually unfinished, Wurster Hall was an open-ended and provocative environment for teaching and questioning”.