Bechtel Conference Center
When a gift from the Stephen Bechtel, the Public Policy Institute of California aimed to create a new space expressing the institute’s nonpartisan ethos. The Center’s dominant feature is a central ceremonial forum for speaking events. Taking a page from King Arthur and his mythical table, the architects gave the conference room an uncommon circular plan. The form posed an acoustical challenge, and the designers came up with the solution of outfitting the circular space with a series of closely spaced sculpted plywood fins, creating an irregular surface suitable for the room’s world class AV equipment.
The center includes a less formal meeting Salon, as well as a green room, servery, and storage space. Thanks to credits earned through the use of salvaged redwood paneling, low-VOC paints and carpeting, and energy efficient lighting and hardware, the Bechtel Center achieved LEED Gold certification.