UC Berkeley Hearst Greek Theatre Retrofit

CAW Architects

UC Berkeley Hearst Greek Theatre Retrofit

Architect Design: Cody Anderson Wasney

Size: 67,000 sf

Status: Completed in 2012

MSD Key Staff: David Mar

The restoration and retrofit of the Hearst Greek Theatre improved its seismic rating from “Poor” to “Good” without compromising the defining qualities of the historical structure.


The structural team strengthened and stiffened the critical areas dominating the structure’s movement and designed the retrofit in harmony with its natural dynamic modes. New strongback columns were hidden in the colonnade’s existing cavities and founded on large concrete footings anchored by 40-foot drilled piers. Reinforcement was installed in the existing void in each column, which was then filled with concrete.


The old copper roofing was removed, and the center protrusion was chipped away and replaced with a reinforced concrete yoke tying the new reinforcement together. Glass-fiber reinforcing polymer was added to the back of the entire colonnade and the foundation was stabilized under each column with large concrete underpinning piers. The structure was jacked to transfer existing loads to the piers.

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