Abandoned for 10 years the landmarked building became an endless canvass.

The buliding as it currently exists. The owner's understand the latent power of this old building.

The Owner's big toys are sculptural.

One of the more dramatic existing spaces. It feels like a ruin.

The existing space....

Everything is cast-in-place concrete - even the trusses.

Ink wells in Berkeley?

Photo by Nick Lawrence

Photo by Nick Lawrence

Graffiti art.

It's endless.

Proposed south elevation. The long building on right is a new 5,000 sq. ft. equipment repair shed.

Approach from Fourth Street.

Birdseye view showing proposed new entry court and stair to roof garden

The stair is a rude and rusty beast

Interior at sculpture court looking south toward the entry court.

Stair lobby.

Conference room.

Berkeley, 2014

ProVen Management is a national construction company which specializes in building large-scale infrastructure projects. In addition to their involvement in construction, the owners of the company are serious art collectors. During the decade prior to Proven purchasing the site the buildings were abandoned and became a canvas for graffiti artists.  When ProVen purchased the site they invited the graffiti community to come back and over a period of several months the buildings, inside and out, were adorned with a lot of new art. The event is captured in a great short video (here’s a link).

The existing landmarked buildings were constructed over a hundred years ago as an ink manufacturing plant. Their unusual cast-in-place concrete trusses and roofs will be exposed and featured in the final design. The program for the site calls for a contractor’s yard for storage of heavy equipment, a new 5,000 sq. ft equipment repair shed, and renovation of the existing 35,000 sq ft of existing buildings for use as storage, offices, conference, and art exhibition. This project has received Landmarks and Zoning Approvals and is currently in for a building permit.

Trachtenberg Architects:  David Trachtenberg, Mauricio De la Pena, Robert Nishimori
Owners: ProVen Management
Structural Engineer:  Yu Engineering
Landscape Architect: Robert Trachtenberg / Garden Architecture
Lighting Design>: Anna Kondolf