Hearst (MMB) Holidays

Following Thanksgiving, all structures seems to sprout these luminescent, multicolored silica-and-copper growths. I’m sure the world’s building biologists are hard at work on a cure for “Christmas lights”, but in the mean time, they sure are pretty.

Hearst (MMB) Holidays

Beaux-Arts Trio

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.

Beaux-Arts Trio

Golden Bricks

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.

Golden Bricks

Hearst: Inside and Out

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.

Hearst Edifice

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.

Hearst-punk

Hearst Mining Building

One of my favorite places on campus (or it used to be before the flurry of construction activity around it) is the Hearst Mining Circle, just opposite the chemistry quad on U. C. Berkeley’s campus. In particular the reflecting pool and lawn in front the historic (and fascinating — there used to be a tunnel to the Hayward fault from there) Hearst Mining Building make a great combination, especially on a sunny day such as the day this shot was taken.

Hearst Mining Building

Behold, the Tomb!

Today is a more unusual shot of UC Berkeley’s Hearst Memorial Mining Building. As with so many other buildings on campus, the terrain and topology of surrounding the building have changed radically since it’s initial construction, with each shift requiring an adaptation to the landscaping and lower structure of the building to maintain access without violating the original design too severely. In this case, however, a fairly functional combination of tunnel entrance and stairs looks uncannily like some sort of ancient tomb. I keep waiting for Indiana Jones to come sprinting out past the ash trays with an enormous boulder rolling close behind him.

Behold, the Tomb!