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Photo © Ethan Kaplan

Berkeley Bowl West

Kava Massih Architects

Berkeley, California
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Completion Date:
June 1, 2009

Yasuda Family, Berkeley Bowl Produce, Inc.

Program: A two-story, 144,217-square-foot retail grocery store, with a café, a community room, offices, staff facilities, underground parking, a warehouse, and a full commercial kitchen serving this store and Berkeley Bowl's Oregon Street location.

Design concept and solution: For their second location, the owners of this popular local supermarket picked the site of a former asphalt plant and abandoned lot. To reconcile the idea of a family grocery with West Berkeley's warehouses and industrial infrastructure, the architects sought to design a store that would feel inviting without losing its connection to its surroundings. At one corner of the lot, the logic of the old street grid is preserved: the line of sight from 9th Street (which dead-ends into the store) continues through the site to the next cross street, and the path of the former street becomes a breezeway connecting the store to a small offshoot housing  a café and community room. Outdoor tables extend the café into the breezeway, creating a natural meeting place where customers can linger. With the site's industrial history in mind, the architects clad the building in corrugated steel and glass, punctuated by large expanses of steel-framed windows inset with wood to add warmth.

Kava Massih Architects
2830 9th Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
Ph: 510.644.1920
Fax: 510.644.1967

August 2010
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