Studio One Art Center
Client: City of Oakland
Architect: Shah Kawasaki Architects
Studio One, which was originally a children's orphanage, was built in 1894 and is a candidate for historic landmark designation. The building was purchased by the City of Oakland in 1949 to be used as recreation center for art programs for adults and children. The unreinforced two-story masonry building was not well maintained by the City and required extensive renovation and upgrade work.
The physical condition of the building and the high cost of renovation provoked a stormy dispute around the structure's historic value and whether or not the building should be renovated, if a new facility should be built, or if a different building should be renovated. It was finally decided that the building should be renovated, and in 2002 voters approved Measure DD, which gave the project more than $10 million in funds. The scope of work included extensive seismic reinforcement, ADA accessibility upgrades, new heating, ventilating, lighting, and plumbing systems, a new elevator, plus interior and exterior finish work.
BBI Construction broke ground on the project in April 2006. The building was completely gutted and a new foundation and slab were poured. The exterior brick wall at the first floor was 100% repointed and new top-grade cedar shingles are scheduled to be installed over the existing exterior sheathing at the second floor. A new asphalt shingle roof has been installed along with several 5-6 foot tall mechanical chimneys which had to be craned to the roof top. The new and improved art center includes a variety of art rooms including painting, jewelry, sculpture, pottery, lapidary, photography, glasswork, a performing arts theater, and a separate kiln building.
The team earned a PG&E Savings by Design Award by incorporating sustainable materials and an energy efficient design into the new building. Energy efficient wood glazed windows and doors were installed throughout the building, and environmentally friendly flooring, including quartz tiles and cork flooring, were installed throughout the majority of the building. Infrastructure for a future photo voltaic system was also part of the project scope.
The restoration of this community center involved the cooperation and collaboration of various City agencies, staff, instructors, students, the Friends of Studio One and the Landmarks Preservation Board.