Berkeley Tuolumne Camp Reconstruction

Siegel & Strain Architects

Berkeley Tuolumne Camp Reconstruction

Architect: Siegel & Strain Architects

Size: 30 acres

Status: Completed in 2022

MSD Key Staff: Gordon Yagisawa, Alex Stack

The Berkeley Tuolumne Camp project is a reconstruction of the City of Berkeley’s family camp that was destroyed by the 2013 Rim Fire. It is located on a 30-acre site in the Stanislaus National Forest, just west of Yosemite National Park. The new camp buildings and landscape are designed to evoke the rustic spirit of the old camp while using contemporary methods and meeting today’s codes, including updated accessibility and fire resiliency.


The camp features over 100 wood-framed buildings including a 10,000 sf dining hall, a 5,000 sf recreation hall, an amphitheater, over 80 cabins, and a variety of other amenity structures. The dining and recreation halls have vaulted ceilings with exposed heavy timber framing and custom steel hardware. Unbonded rockery retaining walls built from materials quarried on-site carve out paths for the main driveway and other walkways. Following a fire damage assessment conducted for structural soundness, the amphitheater was rebuilt on the existing foundation that had survived the fire after it was deemed safe to be integrated into the new design.


A 240-foot-long three-span pedestrian bridge crosses the Tuolumne South Fork River and connects the two sides of the camp. The bridge is framed with weathering tube steel trusses and changes direction to run between existing trees that grow in the channel. There are stairs from the bridge deck that lead down to the small island in the middle of the river. The stairs are designed to be removable such that they can be taken out during the winter season when the water levels are high.

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