Wurstershire Sauce / UC Berkeley Landscape and Architecture Graduate Student Team

Courtesy of UC Landscape and Architecture Graduate Student Team

In the Spring of 2010 a team of Landscape and Architecture graduate students from the University of California, Berkeley led a design build seminar to rethink a little known courtyard on the northeast corner of Wurster Hall. Originally used as an outdoor classroom, plant demonstration area, work space, and location for the CED happy hour, the objective of the project was to make a “bench” to accommodate and enhance these diverse activities. More images and team’s description after the break.

Courtesy of UC Berkeley Landscape and Architecture Graduate Student Team

With resources from the Beatriz Farrand Foundation the team of graduate students designed and built a folding wooden bench to serve as outdoor classroom, performance platform, and social space. The concept splits, folds, and stretches a conventional idea of bench to respond to human scale and formally responds to the variable positions in which one might sit.

Courtesy of UC Berkeley Landscape and Architecture Graduate Student Team

The resulting form creates differences out of this variability, while a repetition of human scale (and material) modules suggest continuity and resourcefulness. The construction method borrows from details of existing attachments to Wurster Hall, and creates a new habitat for an existing olive vine. To serve as foundations, six concrete stem walls anchor in place a series of sandwiched welded angle steel profiles acting as the main structure. The steel holds sustainably harvested redwood members to form the surface while still revealing the structure underneath. At it’s western edge the bench surface folds back up encompassing an existing planter and providing counter level space on one side or seating on the other.

Instructor: Yes Duffy
Students: Brian Gillett, Chris DeHenzel, Rockne Hanish, Jeremy Fisher, William Smith, Marisha Farnsworth, Molly Mehaffy, Henry Richardson, Chris Lesnett, Robert Glass, Alexis Steiner, Anuar Azahari, Alyssa Machle
Location: Wurster Hall Landscape Courtyard, University of Berkeley
Project design build: Spring 2010

Cite: Furuto, Alison. "Wurstershire Sauce / UC Berkeley Landscape and Architecture Graduate Student Team" 23 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=113745>
  • Tyler

    Well done. The detailing is very clean. It’s a beautifully made piece. While I don’t know anything about its location, I can imagine that it will be used heavily. …and the name is quite clever too.

    But I have to say, the idea of these folding/bending/rippling wooden planes is kind of old … …like Yokohama Terminal in 1994 old.

    It’s unfortunate, because the architecture school at UC Berkeley has a reputation of being behind the times, and this project seems to reinforce that.

    Again, it’s a really nice piece, and very well executed. I’d be less critical if this was done in private practice. But from graduate students I expect fresh thinking, and this concept is a bit stale.

  • Dori

    typo: should be “Beatrix Farrand” (not Beatriz)

  • http://www.flipflipmeheidi.com Flipflipmeheidi

    Love the concept, simple and planin!

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