The ceiling of the gorgeous Hearst Memorial Mining Building demonstrates the drama of designing your building to mimic the dashboard of a steampunk tank. (Oh, was that not their intention?) Though I’ve posted photographs from inside Hearst Memorial Mining Building before (the past site of my co-author’s office), I don’t know that I’ve done justice to its ceiling before. That such rigid, “linear” materials as steel and brick and glass can be formed into such elegant, smooth surfaces continues to astonish me.
The glorious Beaux-Arts Classical Revival style of the Hearst Memorial Mining Building stands out among the sometimes-utilitarian University of California, Berkeley. That the building was renovated in the past ten years (but in a way that leaves this lovely lobby unmolested) thrills me. From a crassly photographic perspective, however, I’m most in love with the golden bricks in lovely geometric patterns, and the complementary color of the ironwork.
Today is a rare double-post, featuring my favorite structure on Berkeley’s campus: the Hearst Memorial Mining Building. This beaux-arts-style hall was finished in the early 20th century, and I find it particularly notable for two reasons (beyond just being aesthetically pleasing):
1. The interior atrium reminds me of the Bradbury building, and I get a fantastic cyberpunky (see Blade Runner)/steampunky (see Steamboy) tingle every time I step through the doors.
2. The building was updated in a seismic retrofit from 1998-2003, yet is still just as gorgeous as ever. This is a case of a putting a lot of effort into saving a building that is worth saving, and doing it in a way that doesn’t obliterate the elements of the building that were so appealing to begin with.
Just pass those enormous, varnished wood doors is this stunning atrium. Today, I’m showing only a small part of it. Come Friday, I’ll offer a wider view of the space.