HNTB-designed California Memorial Stadium Reconstruction Wins Prestigious AIA Institute Honor Award

Berkeley, California (EastBayDaily) — Today the American Institute of Architects announced the modernization and expansion of the University of California at Berkeley Memorial Stadium has received a national AIA Institute Honor Award. HNTB Corporation served as architect for the project.

“Since it was originally built as a memorial to fallen heroes of World War I from California and opened in 1923 for the Big Game against Stanford, Memorial Stadium has endured as one of the most picturesque venues in college football,” said Greg Baker, HNTB project architect and associate vice president. “We are honored to have helped secure the future of the venerable facility on behalf of the university, Cal fans and our project partners, especially Studios Architecture and Forell/Elsesser Engineers.”

The Honor Award will be formally presented this May at the 2015 AIA National Convention in Atlanta. It recognizes achievements for a broad range of architectural activity in order to elevate the general quality of architectural practice, to establish a standard of excellence, and to inform public expectations for architectural practice, its breadth, and value.

The $321 million reconstruction of the nearly 90-year-old Memorial Stadium included a new student-athlete training center, restoration of the stadium’s historic façade, new concourses with concessions and a new press box. Because the structure is located on the Hayward Fault, everything but the outer façade and east seating bowl was completely rebuilt to create a seismically safe, more modern venue for the university’s football fans.

Prior to the renovation, the stadium’s location atop an active fault line gave it a low rating in seismic safety, which, combined with general deterioration, led to initial plans for modernization in 2005. Among the reconstruction criteria was the ability to accommodate two feet of vertical movement and six feet of horizontal movement while preserving the historic stadium’s exterior wall.

With the construction of the facility tied tightly to the college football season, the schedule and pace of the reconstruction also was of significant importance. During the 21 months of allowable construction time, the project team was onsite seven days a week, more than 12 hours a day, and project work flow was carefully planned around delays and logistical limitations. Despite the fast pace of the reconstruction, safety remained paramount, and the project achieved incident rates below the industry average.

In order to successfully deliver the reconstruction in time for the 2012 football season, HNTB was supported by several campus entities, including Campus Planning, Athletics, the Chancellor, the Regents and the Design Review Committee. The firm also met the standards of the campus and the California requirements of the Department of the State Architect.

HNTB Corporation is an employee-owned infrastructure solutions firm serving public and private owners and contractors. HNTB’s work in California dates back to its founding in 1914. Today HNTB continues to grow in size and service offerings to clients in California from seven office locations, currently employing more than 350 full-time professionals. With more than a century of service, HNTB understands the life cycle of infrastructure and addresses clients’ most complex technical, financial and operational challenges. Professionals nationwide deliver a full range of infrastructure-related services, including award-winning planning, design, program management and construction management. For more information, visit


John O’Connell

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