Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive opens at University of California

1 February 2016 (Last Updated February 1st, 2016 18:30)

The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) at the University of California has been opened.

The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) at the University of California has been opened. It was built with an investment of approximately $112m by transforming the former printing plant.

Designed by the architecture studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the new facility will provide spaces for exhibitions and film screenings.

BAMPFA director Lawrence Rinder earlier said: "The new BAMPFA will be the architectural and cultural centrepiece of downtown Berkeley. Combining serene spaces for viewing film and art with dynamic public areas, the building will inspire audiences for generations with its fresh, imaginative design and versatility."

The new BAMPFA is spread over an area of around 83,000ft² and houses a performance forum, four study centres for art and film, a reading room, an art-making lab, a cafe, and an outdoor LED screen and viewing plaza.

"Combining serene spaces for viewing film and art with dynamic public areas, the building will inspire audiences for generations with its fresh, imaginative design and versatility."

This visual arts centre also has two film theatres with 232 seats and 33 seats, respectively.

The primary film theatre features projection for all popular formats including DCP, 35mm, and 16mm, along with highly sophisticated acoustics, and a sound system from Meyer Sound.

Last October, Diller Scofidio + Renfro partner Charles Renfro had said: "The supple body of the new structure, draped between the original 1930s orthogonal buildings and snagged on their sharp corners, creates a dramatic public spine that begins as a cantilevered cafe marking the building's entrance, and culminates in an indoor theatre on the other end of the site.

"The sculptural form of the theatre volume reinterprets the 1930s Art Deco-style of the press building in a contemporary language of ruled surfaces and precision-formed stainless steel."

The windows along the Center Street facade of the former printing press building have been made bigger to allow passersby to look into the building and see the Art Wall, a 60 x 25ft interior surface that overlooks the multilevel performance space.