Pacific School of Religion | Berkeley, CA

Renovation and Consolidation of Campus Building


Beginning in spring of 2015, VMWP and the PSR Consolidation Committee have been meeting regularly to establish the programatic needs of the school, and the best way to physically integrate their academic and support functions under one roof. VMWP has been instrumental in collecting stakeholder input through meetings and surveys, educating the school about space usage and projected school growth, as well as determining ways to maximize building usage with minimal demolition. 

Holbrook Hall, the oldest building on campus, built in 1926, is projected to receive all academic, faculty and support staff functions of the school. Although not a historic building, its historic presence has influenced the campus and neighborhood. The interior renovation is planned to maintain and enhance historic elements, while creating new collaboration spaces that brighten up and energize visitors. A large storage space in the center of the building was converted to new classrooms, while a welcoming student lounge was created in the building to allow for student and visitor interaction. This space overlooks the campus quad and is designed to allow for individual and group gathering areas. 


The interior renovation also involved a partial seismic and mechanical retrofit, a complete electrical renovation. The PSR community was kept informed and involved every step of the design process. PSR is looking forward to see a new space catered to their sense of community and integration


  • Detailed study of programatic needs, classroom usage and projected growth calculations
  • Maximized usable area with no square footage addition, and minimal demolition
  • Emphasis on historic interior elements, while brightening the interior atmosphere
  • Created new bring and energetic environments, to stimulate gathering and collaboration
  • The renovation included mechanical upgrades, and a complete new electrical system for increased energy efficiency
  • A strategic seismic retrofit was proposed for at least part of the original building est. 1926

Van Meter Williams Pollack LLP