A New Academic Building to Transform Berkeley-Haas Student Experience

Media Contact:
Ute Frey
Deputy Director, Marketing & Communications
Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
[email protected]

North Academic Building

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY'S HAAS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS—UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business is constructing a new six-story academic building devoted entirely to student learning and interaction, Haas School Dean Rich Lyons announced today. The $60 million structure will be funded with private donations from alumni and friends of the school.

Construction of the building is expected to conclude in Fall 2016.

The nearly 80,000-square-foot North Academic Building will serve as a learning laboratory featuring state-of-the art technology and flexible spaces aimed at transforming the student experience. The building will contain many group study rooms, flexible classrooms, an indoor/outdoor café, a large event space with sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay, and no administrative offices. The building will be able to adapt to new forms of educational technology and learning.

"This new academic building will readily support and improve both on-campus and technology-enabled learning for our undergraduate and graduate students and enable the school to keep pace with rapid changes in the delivery of management education,” said Rich Lyons, dean of the Haas School. "The goal of the new facility is to create the best, most up to date learning experience for our students. It’s all about them.”

He added: “The building also creates a place that will enhance our ability to teach innovative leadership concepts to our students, by providing abundant space for them to collaborate with one another as they learn in teams, and rooms for them to engage in applied innovation learning activities. This is at the core of what differentiates the Berkeley-Haas education.”

Alumni have played a key role in making this building possible. Ned Spieker, BS 66, managing partner of the private real estate firm Spieker Partners, was the school’s lead partner for developing the vision for this building. The Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund; Robert G. O’Donnell, BS 65 and MBA 66, retired senior VP and director of Capital Research and Management Company; and the late Barclay Simpson, BS 43, who founded and chaired Simpson Manufacturing Co.; among others, also have contributed significant gifts to the campaign.

The North Academic Building was designed by Perkins+Will. The global architecture firm is known for its innovative and award-winning designs including for clients in higher education. Vance Brown Builders, of Palo Alto, Calif., is the general contractor.

The North Academic Building will provide an additional 858 classroom seats through a variety of classroom sizes and styles. By removing tiered seating, the eight larger classrooms can easily convert to flat, flexible use rooms or new classroom designs in the future. Each classroom has the infrastructure to provide video streaming and capture as well as video teleconferencing.

The North Academic Building contains:

  • 8 tiered lecture rooms
  • 4 flat, flexible-use space for experiential learning
  • 28 team-based study rooms
  • an indoor/outdoor café
  • lounge areas with configurable seating
  • a 300-seat event space with sweeping views of campus and the San Francisco Bay

Leveraging its location in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley Bay Area, the Haas School has pioneered many programs and experiences tied to the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem of this area. The school’s mission is to develop innovative leaders who can bring fresh ideas to every corner and every function of their organizations, and who do so responsibly.

Because Berkeley-Haas is committed to environmental responsibility, the North Academic Building has been designed to achieve at least certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold status in recognition of its environmentally conscious design, construction, operation, and maintenance.

The North Academic Building will be the fourth building and an important addition to the existing three-building Haas campus, which includes the newly renovated Robert G. O'Donnell Courtyard and the new Berkeley-Haas Innovation Lab, located across the street at Cal Memorial Stadium.

Thanks to the opening of the current Haas buildings in 1995, the school’s reputation and external rankings have flourished, while enrollment has nearly doubled to more than 2,200 students in six degree programs: Undergraduate, Full-time MBA, Evening & Weekend MBA, Berkeley MBA for Executives, Master’s of Financial Engineering, and PhD in business administration.

More about the North Academic Building

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Image courtesy of Berkeley-Haas. Illustration: Jeff Stikeman.


About Berkeley-Haas

As the second-oldest business school in the United States, the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley is one of the world's leading producers of new ideas and knowledge in all areas of business — which includes the distinction of having two of its faculty members receive the Nobel Prize in Economics over the past 20 years.

The school offers outstanding management education to about 2,200 undergraduate and graduate students each year who come from around the world to study in one of its six degree-granting programs. The school has 40,000 alumni.

The school's mission is "to develop leaders who redefine how we do business." The school's distinctive culture is defined by four defining principles:

  • Question the status quo
  • Confidence without attitude
  • Students always
  • Beyond yourself