Downtown Berkeley YMCA

Berkeley, CA | sports/recreation | historic

The renovation of the landmark Downtown Berkeley YMCA lets the original structure speak for itself.

First floor plan

The Downtown Berkeley YMCA occupies an important corner on Allston Way, across from the nationally registered U.S. Post Office, kitty corner from the nationally registered Berkeley High School Historic Campus District, and facing, across Milvia Street, the city-registered Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center. The ELS renovation focused on refurbishing the building’s historic façade while liberating the interior from the various remodels obscuring the original structural materials. The renovation opened up the floor plan of all the fitness facilities, allowing tall existing windows to bring natural light into the interior. Wall and ceiling finishes were removed to reveal a palette of wood, brick, concrete, and structural steel. Energy efficient lighting controlled by daylight and motion sensors and efficient HVAC were installed throughout, aiding the efforts to achieve LEED Gold. An intermediate floor was added to a two-story gymnasium, creating program space for a new Youth and Family Center. The 2,800-square-foot addition provides an Interactive Wellness Center for youth 8–13 years old and a Family Fitness classroom for circuit training and group exercise.


Berkeley Architectural Heritage Award

Project Stats
  • Client

    YMCA East Bay

  • Size

    29,000 sf

  • LEED Ceritification



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