University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, Chou Hall
Square Footage: 74,000
In 2007, twelve years after the completion of UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, its leaders were forced to admit a hard fact: the campus was limiting its ability to thrive. As one of the world’s most highly ranked business schools, its enrollment was booming, and its teaching practices had come to define the leading edge. Accommodating that evolution now demanded more programs and agility - more academic space - than the tightly composed buildings and congested courtyard could provide. Additional expansion challenges included the steep hillside site, tangle of utilities and creek below, and a major earthquake fault.
Following the success of the courtyard renewal, the plan’s latest phase is Connie & Kevin Chou Hall, which represents a new focal point for the reconceived campus and allows the student population to expand much further. Chou Hall is devoted entirely to student learning and interaction. Its bold design complements the existing Haas buildings, while providing cutting-edge facilities to accommodate future advancements in business education – a place where classroom and digital learning work together to foster community and provide a world-class education.
Once inside, it feels expansive, and it increases the school’s overall interior space by a third. A new café, 12 classrooms that provide 858 seats, and 28 break-out rooms accommodate up to eight people each for study and collaboration. Each floor has its own balcony, and views abound: of the redwood grove into which the building is nestled; of the reinvigorated courtyard; and of San Francisco Bay, visible from the 300-person event space on the top floor.