Senior Women’s Hall (formerly Girton Hall) at UC Botanical Garden

The renovated historic Julia Morgan-designed Senior Women’s Hall, formerly known as Girton Hall before its relocation from the UC Berkeley Campus, serves as the centerpiece of UC Berkeley’s Botanical Garden located in the Berkeley Hills above the main campus.  Careful siting of the building, orientation within the hillside garden setting, and site developments for full accessibility make it feel as though the building has always been in its new location.  Re-purposed as a place for small gatherings and special events in the Botanic Garden, the building reinforces the visitor entry spaces and helps orient visitors to the garden collections.  Varied textures, seasonal color, and thematic planting groups planted by the garden staff are seen along the accessible pathways leading to the building and in all directions from the comfort of the expanded wooden deck at the building’s great room.  Salvaged stone boulders, low stone walls and curbs, and timber steps highlight the rustic elegant character of the historic building.  The building was open to the public in 2015.

Preservation Award, Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, 2015
Preservation Design Award, California Preservation Foundation, 2016

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, Berkeley, CA

8,650 SF

Client: UC Berkeley

Architect: Siegel & Strain Architects