In 2011, Richmond, California’s East Bay Center for the Performing Arts celebrated a month-long re-opening of its newly rebuilt home—the culmination of seven years of planning, labor and gathering of support.
Mark Cavagnero, FAIA and his team signed on to restore the historic Winters Building and create a permanent home for the Center. Taking a sustainable approach, they chose to work with the existing shell of the 89-year old structure, rather than building a new one. The interior fit-out is minimal, and, wherever possible, both the historic and the new structure are left exposed, rather than clad in finish materials. Sunlight is the dominant light source throughout the building.
“Working with Jordan Simmons and his dedicated staff was a great experience. Their tireless effort made me realize how an architect’s work is really best when in service of a much larger, and more important, goal that makes design centered on human benefit,” said Mark Cavagnero.
“The stellar rebuilding of our permanent home will bring hundreds of thousands of young people’s imaginations into play as we partner with residents and stakeholders to better our community,” said Jordan Simmons, Artistic Director for the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. “In a neighborhood that has struggled with chronic poverty and violence, the attention to beauty, dignity, and public access that the [design team’s] work has brought to the Winters Building will be a beacon for generations.”
The Center, invigorated by its new building and resources, is emerging as a cultural and civic hub. Recognized by a wider public for its contribution to a new and vibrant neighborhood atmosphere with thriving residences, businesses, and organizations, it will spur a civic and economic revitalization of downtown Richmond.
Cavagnero holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Harvard University. He began his professional career in New York before co-founding Barnes and Cavagnero in San Francisco, renamed Mark Cavagnero Associates in 1993. The firm ranks #19 in Architect Magazine’s The Architect 50—top architectural firms in the country recognizing business, sustainability and design excellence.