UC Berkeley Art Museum Turned into Life Science Lab – Trade Observer
A former historical museum in University of California, Berkeley has been transformed into a life science coworking incubator called the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub.
Built in 1970 and designed by the late architect Mario Ciampi, the mid-century brutalist structure was once the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. While retaining historically significant elements of the original structure, the four-story, 94,000 square foot monument now includes 40,000 square feet of flexible wet and dry labs.
Much of the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub opened in February, according to reports, but a spokesperson for the architectural firm said the grand opening would take place in May.
The new incubator aims to bridge the gap between UC Berkeley graduate students and biotech companies, as well as provide a jumping off point for early-stage bioscience and life science startups. Invesco acquired the property to 2630 Bancroft Road for $39.5 million in August 2021, according to property records.
The redesign by the Alameda-based company MBH Architects includes open labs covering between 454 and 1,112 square feet and private labs ranging from 144 to 329 square feet. It also includes open and private office space, conference rooms, an auditorium, freezers and tissue culture rooms.
Cushman and Wakefieldnational report on life sciences for the first quarter found that industry growth drove demand for lab space in life science hubs across the country, most notably in San Francisco. Market expansion accelerated in the Bay Area with over 46 million square feet of lab inventory.
“From early-stage startups to top life science companies, demand exceeded existing supply in most Bay Area markets 2 to 1,” the report said. “The region’s highly skilled workforce, bolstered by its proximity to elite research institutions such as UCSF, Stanford and UC Berkeley, has made the Bay Area one of the world’s leading science clusters. most elite and active lives in the world.”
Gregory Cornfield can be reached at [email protected].