Click here to complete the Woo Hon Fai Hall Initial Space Proposal.  There is a space limitation on the number of characters you can use.  If the Google Form times out on you, please email your proposal directly to and we will hand enter your proposal into the system.
WooHonFai WooHonFai.2




WooHonFai.2The Vice Provost for Academic and Space Planning is pleased to announce a call for initial proposals to re-purpose Woo Hon Fai Hall [the former Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive] to meet new or existing academic or administrative space needs. With its dramatic atrium-like space and tiered gallery levels, Woo Hon Fai Hall would lend itself naturally to programs that require a variety of open, flexible spaces. These programs may have the advantage of requiring relatively low tenant improvement costs, because they might rely on furnishings and movable partitions and could occupy the open gallery spaces largely as is. The building has revenue generating potential through its cafe or ground level leasable space, or through other mechanisms responders to this call may devise. Woo Hon Fai Hall would provide approximately 57,600 sf of assignable space. A recent study by Noll & Tam Architects[1], assumes that any new use would require revisions to obsolete or inadequate lighting, electrical, and mechanical systems. Core infrastructure improvements in the range of $28-32M will be required to address known deficiencies, including raising the seismic rating.  This estimate is a rough order of magnitude to do the necessary structural work, fix leaks, necessary ADA upgrades, and render the HVAC functional.  It is assumed that future programs that would occupy the building would contribute funding to address a portion of this expense as well as for specific tenant improvements.

Seismic Structural Considerations

Woo Hon Fai Hall is an architecturally significant reinforced concrete building built in 1971 composed of two subgrade levels, a large main assembly floor, and gallery spaces that step up to form a three-story building above grade. The stepped wings are supported by concrete “tree walls” that function as both bearing and shear walls. The center of the building is a large open space with skylights above. The center space is formed by long span post-tensioned concrete beams that cantilever out from the tree walls. The stepped gallery level wings contain full-length expansion joints that allow the building to thermally expand and contract. The existing foundation consists of drilled piers varying between 18-inch and 54-inch in diameter, and 15-feet to 85-feet in length.

The building was given a seismic rating of “very poor” in the late 1990s. A temporary seismic retrofit was done in 2001 to elevate the rating from “very poor” to “poor” until a new art museum building could be built (2120 Oxford St). Braced frames and drilled pier foundations were added along the outside edge of the gallery wings, several supplemental columns were added in the center space, and some skylight beam connections were strengthened. The bracing system is primarily exterior because more invasive interior modifications could not be implemented while the building was in use as an art museum.

In 2011, a set of critical improvements was developed, that would be needed if the University were to repurpose the building. When the collections are relocated to the new museum, it will be possible to seismically strengthen the building more effectively and to address elements, such as the cantilevered upper galleries, which require interior bracing. The earthquake performance objective is Rating Level III based on University of California Seismic Safety Policy, dated August 25, 2011, which is equivalent to UC Historic Risk Rating of “Good”. This will allow flexibility to utilize the building to meet a wide array of possible uses.



(There is a space limitation on the number of characters you can use./
If the Google Form times out on you, please email your proposal directly to and we will hand enter your proposal into the system.)
  1. WooHonFaiThe proposal may be collaborative between units and may propose utilization for a portion, or all, of the assignable space.
  2. The proposal should be compatible with the concepts and constraints noted in the Woo Hon Fai Hall Feasibility Study.
  3. The consideration of proposals will be limited to the material provided in the formal submission, although the VP-SAFP may request additional or clarifying information on substantive issues.
  4. Proposals addressing the following guiding principles and financial strategy requirements will be prioritized.
    1. Principles for space assignments are available here:
    2. Financial Strategy Requirements
      1. Proposals will contribute financially to the building renovation needs
      2. Proposals with stable funding streams/resources will be prioritized
      3. Philanthropic resources are encouraged, as measured by funds in hand, documented pledges, or ongoing development work.


A small committee will be appointed to evaluate the components of the proposals; this committee will be advisory to myself and to the Chancellor about next steps. I encourage your consideration of Woo Hon Fai Hall as a resource in meeting your programmatic goals and aspirations.


Andrew Szeri Signature

Andrew J. Szeri
Vice Provost, Academic and Space Planning


Click here to complete the Woo Hon Fai Hall Initial Space Proposal.  There is a space limitation on the number of characters you can use.  If the Google Form times out on you, please email your proposal directly to and we will hand enter your proposal into the system.
[1] Woo Hon Fai Hall Feasibility Study – Noll & Tam Architects, February 2014