Campus Systems

Cafeteria Cluster: Design Principles

Aerial view of Cafeteria area
key plan showing Cafeteria location

The Design Principles pages illustrate how the General Principles apply to specific building clusters throughout the Berkeley Lab campus. Currently, design principles are illustrated for the Bevatron Cluster, Cafeteria Cluster, and Old Town Cluster; these clusters are where new development is most likely to occur. The design principles describe a framework for building design based on the concepts in the LRDP Design Guidelines 2006, the LBNL Site-wide Massing Study 2009, and the Bevatron Area Update Site Massing Study 2009.

The Cafeteria cluster is defined as the area west of Lawrence Road and south of Smoot Road and Seaborg Road, plus Building 23 and the adjacent parking areas.

diagram of commons space
Commons Space

The commons are landscaped quad-like spaces framed by buildings. On campuses, the open landscape spaces function as connectors, gathering spaces, and places to find some quiet from intellectual and research work. They create balance and, in conjunction with the buildings, define a sense of place.

The uses in this cluster (cafeteria, conferencing, etc.) are shared by the entire campus. The commons need to be welcoming and useable for meals as well as impromptu meetings and discussions among colleagues.

  • Develop commons framed by buildings to reinforce a campus sense of place
  • Allow cafeteria and other shared uses to open easily to the commons
  • Provide outdoor seating arrangements to support outdoor dining and meeting
  • Create an environment that is comfortable for both individuals and groups
diagram illustrating building transparency
Building Transparency

Transparent façades allow visibility of activity inside and help to enliven exterior spaces.

  • To reinforce the connectivity of the commons, design adjacent building façades to be visually transparent
  • Locate shared building uses on the ground floor adjacent to the commons to encourage interaction
  • Capture views and open buildings to the natural landscape
  • Allow the cafeteria and conference spaces to open directly to terraces and gardens to encourage easy passage from inside to outside
diagram illustrating building view corridors
Siting & Views Sensitivity
  • Take advantage of views to the bay from common spaces and common uses
diagram showing building solar orientation
Building Orientation
  • Strive for optimal solar orientation for daylight access and control
  • Design building façades to respond to specific solar exposures to avoid solar heat gain and glare
  • Use more glazing towards north and east
  • Protect openings on the south and west façades
section showing building solar massing
Form & Massing
  • Incorporate narrow building wings that accommodate natural daylight and natural ventilation when possible
  • Maximize ceiling heights to optimize natural daylight
  • Protect main entries and building walkways from weather; consider arcades adjacent to commons where appropriate; create inviting building edges facing commons
landscape framework diagram
Landscape Framework

The LBNL campus is characterized by a dramatic natural landscape. New landscaped spaces will be developed as new buildings are constructed. The existing and intended landscape types are diagramed here to inform the building design.

  • Develop the central courtyard as a garden space
  • Allow the natural landscape to meet the building
  • The bus turnaround garden has the potential to be designed as an amphitheater, taking advantage of the site’s sloping topography
diagram showing interbuilding pedestrian connections
Pedestrian Connections
  • Use buildings to bridge grades for increased accessibility
  • Design for connections to and through buildings from common spaces
  • Locate major entries on commons space or primary pedestrian routes
  • Design façades facing commons to be transparent to visually connect building interiors and common spaces to encourage interaction
  • Locate shared building spaces such as the cafeteria and conference center adjacent to and visible to the commons to encourage interaction
diagram showing space planning considerations
Space Planning
  • Locate shared uses with easy access to and from commons
  • Design buildings for flexibility and change
  • Configure buildings to encourage interaction
diagram showing building setbacks
Boundaries & Setbacks
  • Building edges should reinforce landscape commons space
  • Respect setbacks and spacing between buildings
  • Limits defined in the LRDP and Site Massing Study shall be tested and verified through 3-D modeling


Content updated 18 August 2010