|The Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences/|
University of California, Berkeley
From the standpoint of design, the building incorporates a range of environmental features. The materials and energy efficiency are state-of-the-art, including a living roof. Architecturally, the center incorporates contemporary design and finish into a space surrounded by structures of historic significance and natural green space.
These design features are thoroughly consistent with the Downtown Area Plan's (DAP) goals for LEED Gold or equivalent development with outwardly visible sustainable design features that display innovation in green architecture in the context of a downtown with a predominanlty historic character.
|Robert Birgeneau, |
Chancellor of UC Berkeley,
at the dedication ceremony
The $257 million facility, which received $20 million from CIRM, was financed through an innovative public private partnership involving state bond funds, individual donors and foundations. This model of combining public investment with private funds serves to leverage tax dollars and accelerate benefits to taxpayers.
Innovative funding approaches, like those used to construct the Li Ka Shing Center and the other CIRM major facilities, will be required in Berkeley to achieve the magnitude of investment necessary for high-density infill development and at the same time to accomplish the affordable housing component, community benefits and streetscaping called for in the DAP.
The combination of creating state-of-the-art development, supporting the knowledge (“imagined in California”) economy through public / private financing is an important model for the City of Berkeley. As we move into the 21st century, Berkeley should build on these success stories and support development that builds on this innovative model.
Development in downtown Berkeley should look for ways to showcase the best thinking in progressive environmental design and urban culture. Buildings like the Li Ka Shing Center and the David Brower Center, including their programmatic functions, exemplify Livable Berkeley's advocacy for a "world class" downtown. Our hope is that the Downtown Area Plan will result in the next building that defines Berkeley not for where it's been, but where it's going.