Honor Award

Ong & Ong Plaza

College of Environmental Design

University of California, Berkeley


Lead Landscape Architect: Christopher Kent

Client: The University of California, Berkeley

Serving as a new front porch for UC Berkeleyäó»s College of Environmental Design, Ong & Ong plaza provides outdoor space for students, staff, and visitors to eat, drink, study and socialize. Developed in conjunction with a new restaurant on the first floor of Wurster Hall, the plaza offers spill out space for outdoor dining and college events.

Ong & Ong Plaza bridges between the dramatic, brutalist architecture of Wurster Hall and the lush landscape of UC Berkeleyäó»s campus. Three existing coast live oaks were carefully preserved within a new, raised, limestone deck. The oaks cast dappled shade on the patio, creating a sense of enclosure while preserving clear views out of the space. Concrete seat-walls reflect the material and geometry of the iconic building, and a combination of fixed and moveable furnishings support studying, socializing and outdoor dining. New lighting illuminates the plaza at night. The plaza invites people to visit the college or simply spend time in its front porch communing with nature under the dappled light of an oak tree.