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BAM/PFA exhibition illuminates ‘Architecture of Life’
Mar 30, 2015

The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) announced the inaugural exhibition for its new building: Architecture of Life, which explores the ways architecture highlights and illuminates the human experience.
The new building is scheduled to open in early 2016, and will provide spaces for exhibitions, film screenings and public access to BAM/PFA collections.
Architecture of Life will use all of the gallery space in the new BAM/PFA building, presenting more than 150 works of art, architectural drawings, models and scientific illustrations spanning the past 1,000 years.
“Visitors to Architecture of Life will be able to engage with the breadth and depth of cultural experience at UC Berkeley,” said BAM/PFA’s Director Lawrence Rinder, who organized the exhibition. “Boundary-breaking, innovative and radically interdisciplinary, the exhibition will present visually exquisite, rarely seen works in ways that suggest new connections and meanings.”

A rendering of the new BAM/PFA building, courtesy of BAM/PFA.
The building was designed by New York City-based firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, who are also responsible for the High Line in New York City, the Broad Museum in Los Angeles and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. The firm combined the original Art Deco-style Berkeley printing plant with a new structure, to create an 83,000-square-foot building with 25,000 square feet of gallery space.
DS+R were chosen to adapt the printing plant because of past experience with adaptive reuse of structures and new museum design. Keeping elements of the original building intact, the firm reinterpreted the streamlined Deco style for the modern day. The building will include two film theaters, a performance forum, a café, four study centers, a reading room, an art lab and many gathering areas. “The new BAM/PFA combines serene spaces for viewing art and film with public areas that will inspire audiences with their fresh, imaginative design and versatility,” Rinder said.
“DS+R is thrilled that the first show in the new building will form a synthesis with it, foregrounding the power of architecture to go beyond function to inspire and surprise within a building that we designed to inspire and surprise,“ said Charles Renfro, partner at DS+R.
Architecture of Life will feature works by Noriko Ambe, Ruth Asawa, George Ault, Lee Bontecou, Louise Bourgeois, James Castle, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Marcel Duchamp, Suzan Frecon, Stephen Kaltenbach, Frederick Kiesler, Kimsooja, Paul and Marlene Kos, Fernand Léger, Otto Lehmann, Ad Reinhardt, A.G. Rizzoli, Till Roeskens, James and John Whitney, Lebbeus Woods and Iannis Xenakis, among others.

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