Emeryville Center for the Arts

Emeryville, CA

"Architectural competitions aren't simply a way for clients and designers to pair off. The best ones open windows of potential, signaling how the future might look and who the architects are that might bring it to life.

That's what is so instructive about the unusual - and unusually public - competition to select an architect for the new Emeryville Center for the Arts."

John King, Design Critic, December 9, 2010, SF Chronicle

In fall of 2010, the Emeryville Center for the Arts hosted an invited competition for the selection of the architect to assist in the design of the new facility to be located in an abandoned existing warehouse in downtown Emeryville.

Through extensive architectural analysis, Edmonds + Lee concluded that while rich in urban fabric, the existing warehouse could not absorb all of the institution's requested program due to a limited building footprint and low ceiling heights and that at the very least a substantial tear down would have to occur which could only yield a compromised facility.

Instead, our proposal recommends that the existing building should be demolished and in its place a new, compact multi-story building be built. With the construction of a new building, a new opportunity arises to reinforce the public nature of the institution by providing half of the site for a public plaza. In addition, a new building also allows for the institution to have true museum quality galleries and facilities which would have been otherwise impossible in the existing building.


Edmonds + Lee Architects
2601 Mission Street, Suite 503
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 285-1300