There’s More Than One Way to Define Context

Courtesy of UC Berkeley

Courtesy of UC Berkeley

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

It’s finally time to write this down. For years—in meetings, on-campus tours, and informal conversations—I have talked about the University of California Berkeley’s Wurster Hall, now Bauer Wurster Hall, encouraging people to see and appreciate the significance, and beauty, of this building. It hasn’t been an easy case to make.

Bauer Wurster Hall is the home of the school’s College of Environmental Design (CED). Originally, it housed the departments of architecture, landscape architecture, planning, and design. The building was purpose-designed and built for the CED, a new college founded in 1959 that brought these departments together for the first time. William Wurster, for whom the building was originally named, was the college’s founding dean and the building’s visionary client. 

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